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COLLECTIONS 

OF THE 

MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



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Committee of |)nblitatian 

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS 
NATHANIEL PAINE 
BARRETT WENDELL 
WORTHINGTON CHAUNCEY FORD 



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SEVENTH SERIES — VOL. VII 

DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

1681-1708 

Pnblisbtli at t\)t <Liixst of t\)t ptaboUp JunO 




BOSTON 
PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY 

MDCCCCXI 

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CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Officers of the Society, April, 1911 vii 

Members: 

Resident viii 

Honorary x 

Corresponding x 

Preface xiii 

Location of Manuscript Diaries xxiii 

Diary, 1681 i 

1683 ; 54 

168s 86 

1686 121 

Letters. 

1690, May 17. To Increase Mather 137 

On his return to New England. Agents appointed. In- 
gratitude for services. His own position. 

1691, September 14. To John Cotton 140 

The king and the charter. Forgery of a clerk. Plymouth 

as a province. Magistrates. 

1692, August 5. To John Cotton 142 

Execution of witches at Salem. The earthquake at Jamaica. 
Trouble at Taunton. 

Diary, 1691 xxv 

1692 144 

1693 160 

1696 182 

1697 221 

1698 252 

1699 292 

1700 335 

1701 393 

1702 418 

1703 466 

[v] 

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VI CONTEwib 

Letter. ^^'^'^ 

1704, December 4. To Samuel Penhallow 507 

Grateful for his communication. Illness of his daughter 
Catharine. Colonel Hobby and the governorship. 

Diary, 1705 509 

1706 545 

1707 593 

Letters. 

1707, March 6. To Samuel Penhallow 598 

Books sent by a captive woman. Encloses some state 

paper. 
1707, July 8. To Samuel Penhallow 599 

News from England. Some proceedings against traders 

resented. Francis Makemie. 

1707. Esquire BickerstafT's Predictions for 1 708 .... 600 

1708, September 21. To 602 

Question on baptism. 

1708, November 22. To Samuel Penhallow 603 

Sends copies of Good Evening. Efiect of his name. 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Portrait of Cotton Mather, after Peter Pelham Frontispiece. 
Page of the Diary, to face page i 



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OFFICERS 

OF THE 

^lASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Aprtl 13, igii. 

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS Lincoln. 

SitC'PrtsiHenttf 

SAMUEL ABBOTT GREEN Boston. 

JAMES FORD RHODES Boston. 

Betorlitng: S>rtretarp 
EDWARD STANWOOD Brookune. 

Corrtspontiins S)ecretarp 
HENRY Wn.LL\MSON HAVNES Boston. 

CTrtaBurer 
ARTHXHi LORD Plymouth. 

Librarian 
SAMUEL ABBOTT GREEN Boston. 

Cabtntt'tltrprr 
GRENVTLLE ROWLAND NORCROSS Boston. 

(Suitor 
WORTHINGTON CHAUNCEY FORD Cambridge. 

fRtmhns at Large of tbe Conntil 

WALDO LINCOLN Worcester. 

WILLIAM ROSCOE LR'ERMORE Boston. 

FREDERIC WINTHROP Hamilton. 

MOORFIELD STOREY Boston. 

ROBERT SAMUEL RANTOUL Salem. 



[vii] 

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RESIDENT MEMBERS 



i860. 

Hon. Samuel Abbott Green, LL.D. 

1867. 
Charles Card Sniith, A.M. 

1871. 
Abner Cheney Goodell, A.M. 

1873- 
Hon. Winslow Warren, LL.B. 
Charles WiUiam Eliot, LL.D. 

1875. 
Charles Francis Adams, LL.D. 

1876. 
Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, LL.D. 

1877. 
John Torrey Morse, Jr., A.B. 

1878. 
Gamaliel Bradford, A.B. 

1879. 
Henry Williamson Haynes, A.M. 

1880. 
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, LL. 

1881. 
Rev. Henry Fitch Jcnks, A.M. 
Rev. Alexander McKenzie, D.D. 



D. 



1883. 



Arthur Lord, A.B. 



Frederic Ward Putnam, S.D. 
James McKellar Bugbee, Esq. 

1884. 
Edward Channing, Ph.D. 

1886. 
WiUiam Watson Goodwin, D.C.L. 

1887. 
Edwin Pliny Seaver, .\.M. 

1889. 
Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D. 
Thornton KlrUand Lothrop, LL.B. 

1890. 
Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, A.M. 
Abbott Lawrence Lowell, LL.D. 

1891. 
Hon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, LL.D. 
Henry Pickering Walcott, LL.D. 

1893- 
Hon. Charles Russell Codman, LL.B. 
Barrett Wendell, .\.B. 
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D. 

1894. 
Hon. Mward Francis Johnson, LL.B. 
Rt. Rev. William Lawrence, D.D. 
William Roscoe Thayer, AJkl. 

189s. 
Hon. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, LL.D. 
Hon. William Wallace Crapo, LL.D. 

1896. 
Granville Stanley Hall, LL.D. 



[ viii ] 

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RESIDENT MEMBERS 



IX 



1897. 
Rev. Leverett Wilson Spring, D.D. 
Col. William Roscoe Livennore. 
Hon. Richard OIney, IX.D. 
Lucien Carr, A.M. 



Rev. George Angier Gordon, D.D. 
John Chipman Gray, LL.D. 
Rev. James DeNormandie, D.D. 
Andrew McFarland Davis, A.M. 

1899. 
Archibald Gary Coolidge, Ph.D. 
Charles Pickering Bowditch, A.M. 
Rev. Edward Henry HaU, D.D. 

1900. 
Melville Madison Bigelow, LL.D. 

1901. 
Thomas Leonard Livermore, A.M. 
Nathaniel Paine, A.M. 
John Osborne Sumner, A.B. 
Arthur Theodore Lyman, A.M. 
Samuel Lothrop Thomdike, A.M. 

1903. 
Henry Lee Higginson, LL.D. 
Brooks Adams, A.B. 
Grenville Howland Norcross, LL.B. 
Edward Hooker Gilbert, A.B. 

1903- 
Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, .\.B. 
Charles Knowles Bolton, A.B. 
Samuel Savage Shaw, LL.B. 
Ephraim Emerton, Ph.D. 
Waldo Lincoln, A.B. 
Frederic Jesup Stimson, LL.B. 
Edward Stanwood, Litt.D. 
Moorfield Storey, A.M. 

1904. 
Thomas Minns, Esq. 
Roger Bigelow Merriman, Ph.D. 
Charles Homer Haskins, Ph.D. 



1905. 
Hon. John Davis Long, LL.D. 
Don Gleason HUl, A.M. 
Theodore Clarke Smith, Ph.D. 
Henry Greenleaf Pearson, A.B. 
Bliss Perry, LL.D. 

1906. 
Edwin Doak Mead, Esq. 
Edward Henry Clement, Litt.D. 
William Endicott, A.M. 
Lindsay Swift, A.B. 
Hon. George Sheldon. 
Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe, A.M. 
Arnold Augustus Rand, Esq. 

1907. 
Jonathan Smith, A.B. 
Albert Matthews, A.B. 
William Vail KeUen, LL.D. 

1908. 
Frederic WInthrop, A.B. 
Hon. Robert Samuel Rantoul, LL.B. 
George Lyman Kittredge, LL.D. 
Charles Pelham Greenough, LL.B. 
Henry Ernest Woods, A.M. 

1909. 
Worthington Chauncey Ford, A.M. 
William Coolidge Lane, A.B. 



1910. 
Hon. Samuel Walker McCaU, A.B. 
John Collins Warren, LL.D. 
Harold Murdock, Esq. 
Henry Morton Levering, A.M. 
Edward Waldo Emerson, M.D. 
Curtis Guild, LL.D. 
Frederick Jackson Turner, Litt.D. 
Gardner Weld AUen, M.D. 

1911. 
Henry Herbert Edes, A.M. 
George Hubbard Blakeslee, Ph.D. 



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HONORARY MEMBERS 



1896. 

Rt. Hon. James Bryce, D.C.L. 

1899. 
Rt. Hon. Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 
Bart., D.C.L. 

1901. 
Pasquale Villari, D.C.L. 

1904. 
Adolf Hamack, D.D. 
Rt. Hon. Viscount Morley, D.C.L. 



Ernest Lavisse. 



1905. 



1907. 



Rear-Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, 
D.C.L. 

1908. 
Henry Adams, LL.D. 

1910. 
Eduard Meyer, Litt.D. 

1911. 
Hon. Andrew Dickson White, D.C.L. 



CORRESPONDING MEMBERS 



1875. 

Hon. John Bigelow, LL.D. 
Hubert Howe Bancroft, A.M. 

1878. 
Joseph Florimond Loubat, LL.D. 
Charles Henry Hart, LL.B. 

1879. 
Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Litt.D. 

1880. 
Sir James MacPherson LeMoine, 
D.C.L. 

1883. 
Rev. Charles Richmond Weld, LL.D. 

1896. 
Hon. James Burrill Angel), LL.D. 
William Babcock Wecden, A.M. 



1897. 
Woodrow Wilson, LL.D. 
Hon. Joseph Hodges Choate, D.C.L. 

1898. 
John Franklin Jameson, LL.D. 

1899. 
Rev. William Cunningham, LL.D. 

1900. 
Hon. Simeon F.ben Baldwin, LL.D. 
John Hassett Moore, LL.D. 

1901. 
Frederic Harrison, Litt.D. 
Frederic Hancroft, LL.D. 
Charles Harding Firth, LL.D. 
William James Ashley, M.A. 



Ixl 



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CORRESPONDING MEMBERS 



XI 



1902. 
John Bach McMaster, LL.D. 
Albert Venn Dicey, LL.D. 
Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D. 
John Christopher Schwab, Ph.D. 

1903- 
Rev. .-\rthur Blake Ellis, LL.B. 
Auguste iloireau. 
Hon. Horace Davis, LL.D. 

igo4. 
Sidney Lee, LL.D. 

1905. 
William .\rchibald Dunning, LL.D. 
James Schouler, LL.D. 
George Parker Winship, A.M. 
Gabriel Hanotaux. 
Hubert HaU. 

1906. 
Andrew Cimningham McLaughlin, 

LL.B. 
Hon. Beekman Winthrop, LL.B. 



1907. 
Hon. James Phinney Baxter, Litt.D. 
W'ilberforce Eames, A.M. 
George Walter Prothero, LL.D. 
Hon. Jean Jules Jusserand, LL.D. 
James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D. 

1908. 
John Bagnell Bury, LL.D. 
Rafael Altamira y Crevea. 
Hon. James Wilberforce Longley, 

D.C.L. 
Henr>- Morse Stephens, LittD. 
Charles Borgeaud, LL.D. 

1909. 
Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL.D. 
Clarence Bloomfield Moore, A.B. 

1910. 
Edward Doubleday Harris, Esq. 

igii. 
Charles William Chadwick Oman. M.A. 
Samuel Verplanck HoEfman, Esq. 



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PREFACE 

THE Diary of Cotton Mather is of value as the 
record of a man of peculiar attainments, as a bibliog- 
raphy of a very prolific compiler and publisher, and, most 
of all, as an important contribution to the history of the 
Congregational Church in Massachusetts. For he was only 
a tjrpe, one of many, made prominent by the large number 
of his printed writings, some of which have served to keep 
him in the public eye even to this day. The existence of 
this record, scattered in three different collections, has long 
been known, and much inquiry has arisen about its contents. 
Mr. Wendell used a part in his scholarly biography of 
Cotton Mather,' and extracts have appeared in many places; 
but no year's record has ever been transcribed or printed. 
In April, 1908, Mr. Henry H. Edes proposed to the Council 
of the American Antiquarian Society to confer with the 
Coimcil of this Society "with a view of securing the proper 
editing and publication of all the manuscript diaries of 
Increase Mather and Cotton Mather. "^ In February, 1909, 
the Massachusetts Historical Society appointed a commit- 
tee to publish the diaries in cooperation with the American 
Antiquarian Society, and invited the latter Society to aid. 
Circumstanced as it was, the Antiquarian Society could 
•not take an active part in the editing and publication, 
but freely offered such material as it had, and named a 
committee of conference composed of Andrew McFarland 
Davis, George Parker Winship, and Clarence Saunders 
Brigham.' 

' Cotton Mather, the Puritan Priest. New York [1891]. 
• American Antiquarian Society Proceedings, xix, 4. 
'76., 306. 

I xiii 1 

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XIV PREFACE 

So far as it has been preserved, tliis Diary is now printed 
for the first time. It is far from complete, and the record 
for some of the most important years of the diarist's life 
has been lost or destroyed. It is an account edited by 
himself, and comprises therefore only what he wished to 
have preserved for the benefit of his children. Such care also 
precludes the idea that Mather was not preparing a calendar 
of events and a record of feelings for posterity, and there- 
fore for publication. Enough of the Diary, perhaps more 
than enough, remains to develop and illustrate his career, 
and to enable the reader to measure the man in his intentions 
and in his actions. While describing these he has pre- 
pared, not consciously, the material for a better compre- 
hension of the position of church aflfairs in ^Massachusetts 
during his ministrations. 

A diary being the more intimate and immediate records 
of the writer's thoughts, if spontaneous, better expresses his 
feelings and his character than any other form of writing. 
This was peculiarly the case with Cotton Mather. He early 
formed the habit of placing on paper his mental processes, of 
examining his own spiritual condition, and of measuring him- 
self in action by standards arbitrarily imposed by his owti 
behefs, standards drawn from Scripture and his interpretation 
of what Scripture required. He inherited this habit from his 
father, Increase Mather, whose leaning towards a somewhat 
morbid introspection became exaggerated in the son. Cotton 
from his early youth minutely recorded his performance of 
the outward observances demanded by the church of the day 
from its members; and, from noting or listing such formal 
acts, it was an easy stage to recording the inward feelings 
and interpreting the agitations of mind an ill-balanced 
character endured. At first he intended to be a physician, 
and had made some progress in his studies when he altered 
his determination and studied for the ministr>-. The train- 
ing required for the church was in that day not broad, being 

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PREFACE XV 

confined to philosophy, logic, dogma, and the dry husks of 
theological disputation, materials for culture that have be- 
come more curious than useful, and more capable of histori- 
cal use than of actual application to problems of Ufe in 
general. In Mather's case such a training only aggravated 
tendencies handed down from his father and his grand- 
fathers — Richard Mather and John Cotton. Physically 
not strong and with oversensitized intuitions, he became an 
ecstatic, dangerously near to one possessed. In spite of all 
his reading, and he was one of the greatest readers of his 
day in America, he remained bovmd and limited by the 
accepted dogmas of his church; in spite of his great acti\ities 
in public and church endeavor, he continued to be something 
of a dreamer, inclined to a quite material mysticism that 
was false, and to beliefs concerning his own power and 
influence that could onlj- lead him astray. A wholesome 
counteraction of this tendency was wanting; and he suffers 
accordingly. 

For this the time was as responsible as his nature. The 
first generation of clergymen in New England contained 
men of strong characters and great performance. The 
names of Cotton, Wheelwright, Wilson, Norton, Chaimcy, 
and Richard Mather command respect if they do not com- 
mand allegiance to their beUefs and conduct. Trained in 
Old England, and armed with all the weapons of controversy 
that had been kept bright by persecutions and disputations 
under the distracting changes of church government from 
the days of Elizabeth, they possessed an energy and, for 
that day, a learning that compel admiration when appUed 
to conditions in Massachusetts Bay. If the standards of 
today be apphed, and no standards could be more severe, 
they were narrow minded and even cruel bigots.' But the 
purpose that led them to migrate to a new and unknown 

'Brooks Adams in his Emancipation of Massachusetts gave a much needed 
critidsm of the rule of the elders. 

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XVI PREFACE 



land, marked them as progressives, however tempered by 
an intention of preserving intact their church organization, 
in itself proof of an absence of the advancive principle that 
makes for progress. The conditions in New England 
strengthened this purpose and intention, and also hardened 
them to contend against the many dangers which they 
conceived threatened the safety and existence of the new 
settlements, based so firmly upon a strong churchly organi- 
zation. In this contest they lost little of their power or 
influence, and found or compelled the magistrates to be 
willing to further their ideas of what the situation required. 
This influence of the church and elders persisted in the 
next generation. Yet even then the beginnings of other ten- 
dencies began to be felt. However homogeneous the first 
emigrations had been, the unity of purpose had not been 
so perfect as to exclude moments of rebellion that called for 
the exertion of power to suppress. The mere growth of 
population, bringing with it an increasing diversity of in- 
terest, threatened the dominance of one church or one 
belief. The fear aroused in Winthrop's time by the visit 
to Boston of a Jesuit, exemplified the danger that seemed 
ever to threaten the colony. The Quakers, the French 
refugees, and the presence of a Jew, were only outward 
manifestations of disturbing factors, against which the 
church must exert her power. The Arians, Pelagians, 
Formalists, and Anabaptists — and the names were freeh- 
and wrongly applied — were enemies to the church, and 
also of the State. But as time passed, these hostile ele- 
ments grew in number and restive under restraint, and the 
population perforce became more tolerant of their presence. 
They even made their influence felt and raised embarrassing 
questions on the requirements of the churches of the day. 
Political disturbances such as accompanied the abrogation 
of the old and the granting of the new charter were reflected 
in church unrest. The position of the clergyman was 

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PREFACE XVU 

always under review, but not for more than a century 
really shaken. 

To secure this preeminence all other social activity 
had been sacrificed; whatever could question or oppose 
the rule of the church was ruthlessly crushed. With 
the ocean on one side closing a free intercourse with 
Europe, and the unexplored wilderness on the other, 
the community stood in danger of intellectual atrophy. 
"That result the clergy — the dominant influence — 
courted. They, as men are apt to do under such cir- 
cumstances, looked on change with suspicion and 
dreaded innovation as concealed heresy." After 1647 
their ascendancy was undisputed, and for a full century 
under the supreme rule of orthodoxy the result was not 
only benumbing and provincial, but produced a morbid 
general condition. The preaching must be highly 
seasoned to be palatable, and the great importance 
attached to theology made real progress impossible. 
The period was sterile — glacial.' 

Cotton Mather well represented the scholarship, the 
theology and practically the thought of the community 
in which he lived. The Puritan had passed out of the 
active, formative stage into the fixed and unchangeable. 
Mather was the young man of promise; in him the com- 
munity saw the qualities it regarded as its highest and 
most perfect attributes. He reflected the Puritan spirit 
as it had hardened, become ossified, and thus his writ- 
ings serve to preserve the methods, expressions, and life 
generally of that day. 

If the second generation of elders suffered in mind and 
in uifluence by the changes introduced by the supposedly 
hostile forces, the third generation, to which Mather 

'This has been developed in Charles Francis Adams, Massachusetts: its 
\ Historians and its History, and some of his very words have been used in these 
~ paragraphs. 

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XVm PREFACE 



belonged, was even more subject to disrupting movements 
among the people. The dangers that surrounded the con- 
gregations formed one of the most frequent subjects of dis- 
cussion, and the decay of piety, the corruption of morals, 
the presence of strange doctrines, the danger of incurring 
the displeasure of the Almighty by departing from his 
ordinances, and the frequent display of his anger, were 
dwelt upon in Sunday sermon, Thursday lecture, and elec- 
tion discourse. The magistrates and people were loudly 
called to the rescue of the colony and church. Fast days 
multiplied as occasion called for such expression of public 
humiliation for general wrong-doing. 

It was in this transition period that Mather held sway. 
In the beginning of his public ministry Church and State 
were still practically one, working together and in full con- 
fidence of their rectitude and devotion to public welfare. 
The elder was still the great man of the community, con- 
sulted on all occasions, the source of a wisdom to which 
ordinary mortals could not aspire. Before Mather died, 
this supremacy had been sadly shaken, and no one felt it 
more keenly than he felt it himself. He draughted fast day 
proclamations ; he clamored importunately for the main- 
tenance of church authority; he spent a lifetime in de\dsing 
schemes for advancing piety and religion; he deplored the 
formation of new churches and the introduction of ideas 
which did not entirely conform to his own; and he shrank 
from whatever seemed to injure his o^vn position or methods 
in the vineyard. He regarded his father and himself as above 
criticism, and often used the elders of the former generation 
as a shield against those who attacked him, and, as he 
believed, the church through him. It was all in vain, for 
nothing he devised or performed could stem the natural 
current of the non-conformity, or the dissent, of the day. 
He felt his influence slipping away, and interpreted it as 
something personal to himself. 

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PREFACE XIX 



In this he did not err, and in Mather will be found much 
to repel and little to attract. In the course of time his 
earnestness becomes painful, his resignation and self-abase- 
ment ring hoUow, his cries become strident, his postures and 
prayers seem mechanical. Believing himself to be the 
favorite of God he estabUshed communication with Deity, 
either through the agency of an Angel or even more directly, 
and received encouragements which fortunately he was un- 
able to express in human language, and which become Uttle 
less than ridiculous in his attempts to express them, unless 
allowance is made for his mental and physical condition. He 
indulged in prophecy, and, if he only waited a sufficient time, 
he could find some happening that would fit his prophecy. 
The practice involved dangers that sometimes returned 
upon him to his discomfiture. These communications 
and the apparent success now and again attending them, 
reacted upon an already well developed vanity, and he Uved 
in an atmosphere of self-complacency, as misleading as it was 
imreal. His mind fed upon material clearly innutritious, 
and he resorted to fasts, vigils, and self-mortifications in the 
beUef that he was thereby assuring to himself this inter- 
course with divine beings, and so increasing his usefulness 
to the world. In reahty he was drawing heavily upon a not 
very strong vitality, and inducing a state of mental intoxi- 
cation, believed to be of ecstasis, a state of rapture in which 
the body became insensible to surrounding objects, while 
the soul was engaged in the contemplation of things divine. 
This involved an intoxication of the senses, and an indul- 
gence in prophetic inspiration. He took his religious 
observances as men take opium, and under their action he 
was convinced that he felt, saw, and heard things beyond 
the apprehension of ordinary men. That the means of 
inducing rapture were crude, that they acted upon a man 
incapable of high imagination, and that the results were 
not commensurate with the intentions of the act, at times 

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XX PREFACE 

produce a touch of absurdity. Consciously or unconsciously 
Mather records his experiences in the very words and experi- 
ences of eariier mystics and elders, and these frequent bor- 
rowings awaken some doubt upon his ability to produce a 
real ecstasy, one that could be oblivious to pain, or neglectful 
of the effect to be produced upon others by its display. 
The mechanism is too obvious, and the concernment over 
self is too marked to escape attention. Indeed the impres- 
sion gained is that his periods of transport were far removed 
from true religious rapture or frenzy, and more closely 
resembled a physical cataleptic state. 

In inducing these sensuous conditions and in surrender- 
ing himself entirely to their nim^ibing effects, he believed 
he was giving himself completely into the hands of divine 
power, to be directed wholly by that power. Such surrender 
may arise from a weakness of mind or body, which dislikes 
to contend strongly against temptation or against the 
armoyances that pertain to any station in life, and which 
seeks refuge and relief in giving the responsibihty of deci- 
sion to another. Such natures are apt to be credulous and 
easily imposed upon, for they have not passed through that 
strengthening process that would enable them to stand 
alone. Mather's training had been a sheltered one, and he 
early stepped into a place already prepared for him, and in 
which he was still in great part protected. That he should 
have been carried too far in the witchcraft delusion is not 
strange, for many much stronger than he gave way to it; 
but it is somewhat strange that he should so often have been 
* imposed upon by little incidents, as his Diary proves, and 
\iha.t he should so seriously accept the mystical e.xplanation of 
a very commonplace fact. The solemnitj' of record adds not 
a little to what is essential to an apprehension of the man, 
but it leaves an impression of positive weakness. No one 
can read the issues of that day and fail to recognize that 
strange beliefs were held, strange objects seen, and strange 

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PREFACE XXI 

interpretations applied; but, after all due allowance, for the 
atmosphere in which men then Uved, it is stiU difficult to 
accept Mather at his own estimation. That he was the 
special subject of divine favor, and the special object of 
Satanic buffetings, sums up this estimate. An overweening 
vanity lay at the basis of it. 

Under such stimulus the church over which he presided, 
the town in which he Uved, and even the Colony of Massa- 
chusetts proved too narrow a field for his endeavors. His 
restlessness, made the more imp>elling by his habits, led him 
to look abroad for objects of his care. The ungospellized 
plantations adjacent to Massachusetts, the colonies to the 
southward and in the West Indies, the concerns of European 
coimtries, the conditions in the Spanish American countries, 
and the captives in North Africa, — these were some of the 
objects of his activities. He wrote in French to produce a 
reformation in France; he wrote in Spanish to subvert the 
colonies of CathoUc Spain; and he urged the translation of 
his writings into other tongues, that they might bear witness 
to his desires to remodel mankind upon the lines of his 
beliefs. As an ardent proselytizer he sought the reformation 
of the world, and the instruments were to be prayers and 
printed books. His advocacy of inoculation for the 
smallpox was greatly to his credit. 

This leads to a notice of a notable phase of his activity, 
for no man, before or since his day, sought and enjoyed so 
many opportimities to print what he wrote. On this phase 
nothing could be more eloquent than the Diary now printed. 
The eagerness to see his compositions in print grew with his 
years, and his industry was turned to the regular manufac- 
ture of matter for the press. Having completed a study, 
tract, or discourse the printing of it became an object of his 
thought, a subject of his prayers. At times his very religion 
seems to be subordinated to this passion for seeing his pro- 
ductions in type, and as the nimiber of issues increased, the 

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XXU PREFACE 

stronger became his conviction that through them he was 
accomphshing a great world-work, one that the Lord had 
designed he should perform. He was assiduous in dis- 
tributing his own books, and artful in securing the aid of 
others to print or distribute them. These tracts possessed 
in his eyes a great efficacy in advancing the cause of relig- 
ion, in soothing distress, and even in quieting bodily pain. 
As the record of a most active writer for the press the Diary 
possesses value in bibhographical study. A much larger 
number of these issues than Mather would have deemed 
possible have entirely disappeared; many exist in a single 
known copy; others are not rare. The greatest contribu- 
tion of value that came from his pen was the Magnolia, a 
work that is still a storehouse of ill-compiled and ill-digested 
matter, not without real historical importance. Moreover, 
it stands as the one contribution from New England of 
value to history in the period from 1650 to 1780. It is, 
perhaps, fortunate that his greater compilation, the Biblia 
Americana, never saw the light. 

The text of the Diary is as Mather wTote it, some changes 
in punctuation and capitahzing onh' ha\'ing been made. 
The notes have been confined to such matters as seemed to 
require explanation, and are not intended to elucidate every 
point of the text in a biographical spirit. Such a task would 
have led to encumbering the \olumes with notes equal in 
length to the text; and, as the Diar}' is not complete, the 
notes would have shared in this defect. On the side of 
bibliography the notes are brief, as a full bibliography of the 
Mathers is being compiled by competent hands. Some 
letters, hitherto unpublished, have been added to their 
respecti\c years. 

Acknowledgment is made to Rev. William H. Cobb of 
the Congregational Library for the privilege of using the 
record for 1716. Also to the Second Church, which through 
Dr. Francis Henry Brown placed its manuscript volumes of 

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PREFACE XXm 

records at the disposal of the Society. As the records of 
the Church over which Mather presided have never been 
printed, the essential entries have been included as notes. 
They develop the church discipline of the time as enforced 
by Mather, and in his very words. 

A portrait of Cotton Mather is in the American Anti- 
quarian Society; but its artistic value is slight and, as a 
representation of the man, indifferent. The mezzotint by 
Peter Pelham, from a portrait painted by him in 1728, is 
of a higher order of workmanship, and is reproduced on a 
reduced scale from a fine impression of the original, courte- 
ously loaned by Mr. Henry W. Curmingham, of Boston. 

Mather's script is not difficult to read after certain 
pecuharities have been mastered; but the condition of some 
of the papers, blotted by erasures, spotted or faded by 
exposure, and frayed and torn at the edges from use, made 
the reading at times difficult and doubtful. The manuscript 
was transcribed by Miss Anna M. Galvix, and with an 
accuracy leaving little to be desired. The Latin sentences 
have had the scholarly supervision of our colleague, Prof. 
Henry W. Haynes. The proofs have also been read by 
Mr. Julius H. Tuttle, whose knowledge of Mather imprints 
has proved serviceable. 

WORTHINGTON ChAXJNCEY FoRD. 
Boston, Mass., April, 191 1. 



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LOCATION OF MANUSCRIPTS 



LOCATION OF MANUSCRIPT DIARIES 



1681 
1683 
1685 
1686 
1691 
1693 
1693 
1696 
1697 
1698 
1699 
1700 
1701 
1702 
1703 
170S 
1706 
1707 



Vol. I 
Massachusetts Historical Society. 



American Antiquarian Society. 
tt II li 

Massachusetts Historical Society. 
American Antiquarian Society. 
Massachusetts Historical Society. 

K It li 

American Antiquarian Society. 
Massachusetts Historical Society. 

H II it 

Massachusetts Historical Society. 
.Vmerican Antiquarian Society. 
Massachusetts Historical Society. 



Vol. II 
1709 American Antiquarian Society. 
1711 
1713 

1716 Congregational Library. 

1717 American Antiquarian Society. 

1718 Massachusetts Historical Society. 
1721 

1724 



(nvl 

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APRIL, 1691 



1691' 

' A fragment found too late to be inserted in regular order in the volume. 

1 d. 2 m. [April.] 1691. 

This Day, was with mee, a Day of singular Distress. My Father 
was now on board a Ketch, which attended him, to meet the ship, 
wherein hee was to take his Voyage for England. This Day the Ship 
was to sett sail; and I understood that my Father's Enemies, with 
other Vessels, which had armed Men in them, were to accompany that 
Ship, till clear of the Coast, that so hee might have no Opportunitie 
to gett on board. 

All the Time, of my Father's Absence, in this Difl5culty and 
Obscuritie, I had kept wrestling with God, for his Preservation. 
Many Psalms had I pray'd and sang, with a particular Application 
to this Affayr. Especially, the 27th, the 56th, the syth, the sgth, the 
64th, the i2ist, the 140th, and the i42d. 

But this Day, I sett apart for Prayer, with Fasting, before the 
Lord. I humbled and loathed myself before God, for my former 
Iniquities, and my present Infirmities. I confessed my Unworlhincss 
of all Mercies; and especially such a Mercy, as the Enjoyment of such 
a Father, as mine. I Implored of the Lord once and again, that He 
would this Day, deliver my Father from his Adversaries. The fresh 
Accoimts, which were in the midst of the Day, brought mee, about 
the Perils now surrounding of my Father, produced in mee such a 
Distress, that I cast myself prostrate on my Study-floor, and there, 
with my Mouth in the Dust, I begg'd for my Father's Deliverance; 
promising that I would within a few Dayes, keep a Day of Thanks- 
giving unto God, if I might obtain it. My Spirit was, after this, at 
some Ease, about this perplexing Affair. 

But I thought myself concerned, further to entreat, that since 
my Father had now left mee, alone, in a great Place and in a great 
Work, yett that I might not be alone; or bee destitute of those Assist- 
ances from God, without which, I must needs Dishonour Him; which 
was to mee, the dreadfullest Thought in the World: And the Lord 
assured mee, that Hee would bee with mee. 

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XXVUl DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Well; at Night, the Gentlemen (my Father Philips, the Principal) 
who had undertaken, for the Safety of my Father, arrived home, and 
came to tell mee, that my Father, was, beyond the Reach of all 111 
men, putt aboard, the Ship intended; thro' the Wonderful Providence 
of God, causing the same Wind, both to help him, and hurt his pur- 
suers. Thus the Lord heard mee, in the Day that I cried unto Him ; 
/ 'ii'ill love the Lord! 

This Week, dream'd, that being left alone, I was putt upon 
preaching a Sermon publickly, for which I had no Time to prepare 
aforehand. I dream'd, that being driven to this extemporaneous 
Extremity, I preached a Sermon upon those Words, / will never leave 
thee, nor forsake thee. The Thoughts, which I had upon this Text, in 
my Sleep, were so proper and so lively, and I could, after I awoke, 
remember so many of them, that indeed, I preached the Lords-Day 
following upon that very Text. 

And the Week following, I kept a Day of secret Thanksgiving 
unto the Lord, as I had promised. 



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DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 



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Diary of Cotton Mather 

i68i' 

12 rf. I w». [M'arcA.] This Day was filled with the Devo- 
tions and Enjoyments of a raised Soul. 

But there were especially two things, whereabouts the 
Salleyes of my Soul, were considerable, not only on this 
Day but at many other Times, in this part of my Lije. 

One Thing, wherein I was more fervently concerned, 
was, that great Thing of, a Closure with the Lord Jesus 
Christ. In the Prosecution of this Matter I may truly say, 
t'was the Spirit of God, that was my Teacher: no Man, or 
Book, showed mee the way of expressing this glorious Trans- 
action; but this Day, I used such Words as these among 
others, before the Redeemer of my Soul. 

"Oh! my Dear Lord; Thy Father hath committed my 
Soul, into thy Hands; there's a Covenant of Redemption, 
wherein I am concerned : I know my Election, by my Voca- 
tion, and my Concenmient in that Covenant, by my being 
made Willing to come imder the Shadow of thy Wings in 
the Covenant of Grace; Now, in that Covenant, the Father 
said imto the Son, such an elect Soul there is, that I will bring 
into thy Fold, and thou shalt undertake for that Soul, as a 
Sufficient and an Vernal Saviour. Wherefore, I am now, in 
thy Hands, my Lord; Thy Father hath putt mee there; 
and I have putt myself there; O save mee! heal mee! 

* The record begins thus abruptly. It was his custom to begin a new year's 
record on February 12, his birthday. The earlier pages covering the month's 
entries have been lost. As he was bom in February, 1662-63, he had completed 
his eighteenth year. 

1. 1 III 

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2 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

O work for mee, work in mee, the good Pleasure of thy 
Goodness." 

And afterwards I said, 

"Lord, I have been leaving my Soul, this Day, with 
Jesus Christ, and Thou hast bid mee to beleeve that I shall 
be saved by Him. Lord I I do beleeve, that there never 
came a poor Soul to the Lord Jesus Christ in vain, and I do 
beleeve that I myself shall not find it in vain. Hee will do 
great things for mee. Hee has already done enough, to leave 
mee without any Cause of rep[en]ting that I have, thro' so 
much Agony of [Soul] come unto Him; yea, but I beleeve 
that [Hee] has more still to do for mee. Having been the 
Author Hee will bee the Finisher, of my Faith." 

Another thing that much exercised mee was, that I 
might not bee left without necessary Supplies of Speech for 
my Ministry.' God was pleased so far to lett my Infirmity 
remain, that altho' by a careful Deliberation' my public 
Services were freed from any Blemish by it, yett I was, by 
His Wisdome, kept in continual Prayer, and Fear, and 
Faith, concerning it. How many Thousands of sollicitous 
Thoughts I imderwent concerning it, is best known to Him, 
who by those Thoughts drove mee and kept mee nearer to 
Himself. 

On this Day particularly I pleaded; 

"Lord! Thou art Hee that made man's Mouth; and thou 
wast angry with Moses, because hee would not make that 
consideration, an Argument for Failh, that thou wouldest 

' He was at this time assisting his father at the North Church. He first 
preached for his grandfather at Dorchester, August 22, 1680, and for his father 
at Boston on the following Sabbath. He was called to be assistant to his father 
February 23, 1680-81. 

' His son, Samuel, states that while Mather was in full concern for relief 
from this troublesome affliction, "that good nUl Schoolmaster Mr. Corlet gave 
him a Visit on purpose to advise Him; 5iV, said he, I should be glad if you would 
oblige yourself to a dilated DclibiriUion in speaking; for as in singing there is no 
one who stammers, jo by prolonf,ini your Pronunciation you will get an Habit of 
speaking without Hesitation." Life of Lotion Mather, 26. 

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MARCH, l68o-8l 3 

bee with his Mouth. And now, because I would not so sin, 
therefore I trust in thee! Thou dost send mee forth, as 
thou didst Moses, in Service for thy Name among thy 
people; and thou who didst make Mans Mouth and make 
my Mouth, wilt bee with my Mouth. It was also once 
used, as a Bottom for Faith, the Lord hath, and therefore, 
the Lord will. Now tis a blessed Experience which I have 
already had of thy Help; yea, such an Experience as hath 
caused mee to promise, that I would nrocr distrust thee more. 
Lord, Thou saist. None of them who trust in thee shall bee 
desolate. But how desolate shall I bee, if I am left without 
Speech for thy Work ! I trust in thee ; and therefore it shall 
not bee. Thou saist, Thou will never forsake them that seek 
thee. But I have sought thee, and I will seek thee, as long 
as I have a Day to live. And now, O Lord, I will beleev- 
ingly wait on thee; I shall see a Token for good; Thy People 
too shall see Witnesse of the Token." ^ 

Butt one special Action of this Day, was to make and 
write the following: 

RESOLtrriONS as to my Walk with God. 

Lord! Thou that workest in mee to will, help mee to 
resolve. 

I. As to my Thoughts. 

1. To endeavour, that I wiU keep God, and Christ, and 
Heaven, much in my Thoughts. 

2. In a special manner, to watch and pray, against 

' Mather suffered in youth from an impediment of speech which threatened 
to destroy his usefuhiess in the public ministry, and fearing this, he first studied 
medicine, for which he retained a strong interest throughout his life. His treatise 
on medicine, the Angel of Beihesda, on which he placed a high value, is a curious 
mixture of medicine and his peculiar faith dogmas. It has never been printed, 
but deserves to be for the sidelight it throws upon the medical practice of the 
day. From a folio volume (still in manuscript) of records of cases treated by 
Governor John Winthrop, the younger, and this treatise by Mather, the medical 
knowledge of a century and a half could be summarized. The Winthrop lis. 
is in the Massachusetts Historical Society; the Angd of Beihesda is in the American 
Antiquarian Society. 

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4 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

lascivious Thoughts, ambitious Thoughts, and wandring 
Thoughts in the Times of Devotion. 

II. As to my Words. 

1. To bee not of many Words, and when I do speak, to 
do it with Deliberation. 

2. To remember my obligations to use my Tongue as 
the Lord's, and not my own: and therefore, to promote 
savaury Discourse, if I can, wherever I come; and to dis- 
course with such as come fairly in my way, about the Things 
of their everlasting Peace. 

3. Never to answer any weighty Question, without lifting 
up my Heart unto God, in a Request, that Hee would help 
mee to give a right Answer. 

4. To speak III of no Man; except, on a good Ground, 
and for a good End. 

5. Seldome to make a Visit, without contriving, what I 
may do for God, in that Visit. 

III. As to my daily Coiu-se of Duties. 

1. To pray at least thrice, for the most part every Day. 

2. To meditate once a Day; in the Meditation proceed- 
ing after some such Method as this; that there shall bee 
two Parts of the work, doctrinal, and applicatory. The 
doctrinal to bee dispatched in an Answer to a Quaestion. 
The Applicatory to flow from thence into Examination, 
Expostulation, Resolution. 

3. To make a Custome of propounding to myself, these 
three Quaestions, every Night before I sleep. 

What hath been the Mercy of God unto mee, in the 
Day past? 

What hath been my carriage before God, in the Day 
past. And, 

// / dy this Night is my immortal Spirit safe ? 

4. To lead a Life of heavenly Ejaculations.^ 

' Mather early adopted the practice of ejaculations, which Fuller describes 
as a short prayer "darted up to God" in an emergency. In this sense the word 
was much used at the time this record was written. 

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MARCH, I 680-8 I 5 

5. To bee diligent in observing and recording of illtistrious 
Providences. 

But in all, to bee continually going unto the Lord Jesus 
Christ, as the only Physician, and Redeemer, of my Soul. 

Lord! Thou that workest in mee to do, help mee to 
perform. 

Penned by. Cotton Mather; A feeble and worthless, 
yett (Lord! by thy Grace!) desirous to 
approve himself, a sincere and faithful 
Servant of Jesus Christ. 

The Lord knowes, how miserably defective I have been, 
in the performing of what I have thus resolved. But my 
Defects, have been the matter of my continual Reflections 
and Abasements before Him. And, for the main, I have 
made in my Study, to bee abownding in these Works of the 
Lord. Yea, these FUghts of my Soul, in Essayes to glorify 
God, have been but the lower and lesser Flights of my 
Youth; which I hope, will ere long proceed unto a Mounting 
up with the Wings of Eagles. 

The Singular Assistences which the God of Heaven gave 
unto mee, in my public Ministrations on the following 
Sabbath, were such, as caused mee to draw up this conclu- 
sion; / beleeve, I shall fiavc a glorious Presence of God with 
mee, thro' my whole Ministry. 

And God so strangely inclined the Hearts of the People 
in our Congregation; that besides their weekly Collections 
every Lord's-Day, they did about this Time subscribe about 
Seventy Pounds, for my Encouragement, in my public Ser- 
vice the ensuing year.' 

13 d. I m. [March] Lord's-Day. Coming home, from the 

'Cotton was not ordained colleague to his father in the church until May 
13, 1685. His uncle Nathaniel wrote: "I had forgot to say to yourself, by any 
means get to preach without any use of or help by your notes. When I was in 
N. E., no man that I remember used them except one, and hee because of a speciall 
infirmity, the vertigo, as I take it, or some specie of it. Neither of your Grand- 
fathers used any, nor did your uncle [Samuel] here, nor doe I, tho wee both of 
us write generally the materialls of all our sermons." 4 Collections, vui. 34. 

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O DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

public Service, wherein I enjoy'd the special Assistences 
of God I wrote these Words: v^- 1 beleeve that I am a chosen 
Vessel, and that the Lord will pour mercy unto mce, till I have 
arrived unto a Fulness of eternal Glory! Lord, help me to 
serve thee, love thcc, glorify thy Name. Fill mee with thy 
Spirit. It will bee so! Oh! Who am I, that I should bee 
filled with the Spirit of tlie Iloly God I But it mil bee sot 
The Lord hath caused His Servant to trust in His Word. 

Isa. 44- 3-' 

This Day in the Assurance, the glorious and ravishing 
Assurance, of the Divine Love, my Joyes were almost 
insupportable ! 

igd. \m. Three weeks are not passed, since my keep- 
ing a secret Fast, before the Lord; and now on the very same 
Accounts, I keep another.* 

My Essayes, to cast myself upon the Mercy of God, 
in Jesus Christ, this Day, were attended with wonderful 
Assurances, that the Lord was mine and that I should be His 
forever. 

Yea, I feel the Lord Jesus Christ most sensibly carrying 
on, the Interests of His Kingdome in my Soul, continually. 

The Day following [20th], having been thrown into much 
Weakness and Faintness by the extraordinary Devotions, 
wherein I had been labouring, Satan made it unto mee an 
Occasion of many Discouraging Fears, that I should not bee 
able to go thro' the work, which was the Lords-Day before 
mee. But I earnestly cried unto the Lord, saying, Lord, I 

' " For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry 
ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring." 

' While Mather did not literally star\'e his veins with daily fasts, he undoubt- 
edly carried his abstinence at times to an excess, and produced a weakness that 
accompanied him through life. When thus weakened he saw visions and heard 
voices, the recordinR of which was beyond him and his attempts to picture them 
arc at times not a little ridiculous. At first spontaneous, these visitations became 
in time mechanical, and the mechanism is so apparent as to deprive the exhibition 
of its intended effect. He began those exercises of days of prayer and fasting 
when he was about fourteen years of age, making Scuddcr's ChrUlian's Walk his 
directory in those duties. Paterna, in Wendell, Cotton ifathcr, 36. 

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APRIL, I&8l 7 

know not what to do, but my Eyes are unto thee. Thou art a 
Master, most able and ready to help thy poor Servants. Oh I 
lett thy Strength appear in my Weakness; and, being strong 
in the Lord lett mee be carried now beyond myself. Lord, 
Thou hast said, Thou wilt bee with thy Disciples to the End of 
the World; I apply thai Word, I rely on thee; I beleeve thou 
wilt enable mee to glorify thy Name. 

In the Strength of this Faith I went into the great Con- 
gregation; and the Lord gave mee such remarkable and even 
unusual Assistences, that I saw cause then to enter this 
Advice; 

"Remember, O my Soul; that when I am going about the 
Work of my dear Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, thou art 
then to depend on Him for Strength: Fear nothing, thou 
shall be strong." 

2,d.2m. [April.] Lord's-Day. «®°- This Day, the Lord putt 
itt into my Heart to make this Prayer before Him . That 
Hee would give mee, to write something that may do Service, 
for the Lord Jesus Christ, among young Persons. And I was 
perswaded, that I should Uve to do it! 

Sd. 2 m. I found my Soul under strong Distempers; 
and especially, an idle Frame of Soul, was a Plague upon mee. 
Upon this Occasion I fell into an exceeding Bittemesse of 
Spirit; and I was filled with Fears, that the Spirit of God 
was going to take a sad Farrwell of mee. This Agony of my 
mind, sett mee upon Prayer; but in Prayer I foimd myself 
horribly straitned; nor could I find any Promise that I 
could lay hold upon. Yea, I could not go imto the Lord 
Jesus Christ, nor do any thing to rescue myself out of the 
most shattered, and confused, condition in the World. 
I saw, there was no Peace to bee had, if the Lord spoke it not, 
and I saw, that it was a dangerous Thing to give way unto 
anything, that may grieve the Spirit of God. The Lord is 
grinding mee to Peaces for the Frames of Soul, wherein I 
have allowed myself. 

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8 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

But after all, I will (thought I) do these things. First. 
I will not absolutely conclude, that the Lord, intends mee 
Hurt in my Desertions. Hee has done, and will do, the same 
good unto mee, by them, that by other Afflictions. I 
beleeve, that when the Lord had broken mee, and fitted 
mee for further Mercy, and laid mee low before Him, Hee 
will raise mee up, in bestowing of great Comfort on mee 
and employing mee in great Service for Him. 

Secondly; I will not slacken my seeking the Face of God. 
Tho' now, when I try to pray I am so full of Darkness, 
Horrour, and Confusion, that I am not able to pray as 
formerly, yett when I can't pray, I'l groan. There is an, 
It may hee, a, who knowesl a, who can tellt but the Lord may 
pitty mee and Releeve mee. 

The Day following, my Confusions continued and tho' 
I made Attempts at Prayer, yett a disconsolate Heart, that 
I had, could make no work of it. I considered; I was never 
sufficiently sensible both of my Vileness and Weakness 
before the Lord; and I never enough prized His Consola- 
tions. Now, thought I, the good God will rectify my 
Spirit. I considered also; perhaps the Lord is trying, 
which way my Spirit will work; and whither I will go for 
Help and Joy. But, Lord, Thou art my Fountain, and I am 
resolved in thy Strength, that tho' thoii grindest mee to Powder, 
I will never leave thee; tho' thou killest mee, I will putt my 
Trust in thee. I have worldly Delights and Contents enough, 
but my Lord, they will not do. 

After some further Meditations, I went before the Lord, 
and my departed Strength returned something to mee. At 
last I said. Lord, this has been the Counsel, that in thy Name, 
I have given to discouraged Souls, when speaking to them, in 
the great Congregation: If they could not beleeve, yett kit them 
try what they could do, and stretch out their withered Hands. 
And, Lord, this course I will follow, this Counsil I will take 
myself. Oh I Thou mighty Saviour, who hast bid all the Ends 

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APRIL, l68l 9 

of Earth, to look unto thee, and said that thou vdlt cast out none 
of those that come unto thee, Oh! I am helpless. But I look 
unto thee, I come unto thee. O undertake for mee. Deliver 
mee. I beleeve thou wilt; Lord, help my Unbeleef. My 
Diseases are so complicated, that I am not able so much as 
distinctly to mention them unto thee; much less can I remedy 
them. Only thou art my Support; and the Lord Jesus Christ 
shall have all the Glory. 

So my Heart was quieted. 

lo d. 2 m. Lord's-Day. This Day my enlarged Heart 
used these Expressions, in Prayer before the Lord. 

"Lord, spare my Life, but, if thou dost call for mee out 
of this Vale of Tears, I am willing to dy, and come imto 
thee. Nevertheless, if it bee thy Will, I would live, to do 
some special Service for thee, before I shall go hence and bee 
no more; a&' Yea., lett mee do something and in thy Time 
lett mee write something that may do good unto young Per- 
sons when I shall bee dead and gone." 

16 d. 2 m. This Day I sett apart for solemn Humilia- 
tion, and earnest Supplication, in Secret before the Lord. 
My unsuitable and unsanctified Frames, under the most 
wonderful Mercies of God; and the Desertions which had 
lately darkened my Soul, were the things which drove mee 
to these Duties; 

And my special Errands to the Lord were, that Hee 
would speak Peace imto mee, and that Hee would give mee 
Strength to overcome the Distempers of my Heart, and that 
Hee would prepare mee for and employ mee in some special 
Service, to His dearest Name. 

Horrible Agonies and Amazements took hold of my Soul 
this Day, when I was, as in the Beginning of such Dayes I 
ever use to bee, entertaining myself with the manifold 
Instances of my Sinfulness and Wretchedness. After the 
Prayers wherein these things were amplified, sitting in my 
Chair, I had such Thoughts as these; "What intends my 
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lO DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Lord, to do with my Soul? Why do's Hee thus grind, and 
break my Heart, and upon every Turn, cast mee into unutter- 
able Anguishes? surely, Hee will sweeten Heaven to mee 
at the last. Yea, blessed bee the Name of the Great God; 
I know that I am entred at the strait Gate and walking in the 
narrow Way." 

After this, essaying to go unto the Lord Jesus Christ, I 
found that I cotdd not beleeve on Him. So, I cried earnestly, 
irnto God, even as for my Life that Hee would help mee to 
beleeve, and, Oh! Blessed bee His Name! Hee did help 
mee; with a moved, melted, raised Soul, I laid hold on the 
Lord Jesus Christ, saying, "Lord, tho' I am lamentably full 
of Miseries; yett, blessed bee thy Name, there is a Christ, 
in whom there is a Fountain sett open for mee. And now. 
Lord, Thou hast bidden mee to go unto Him; it is thy 
Commandment, that I should beleeve. My Lord Jesus Christ 
has also encouraged mee, with His gracious Invitations, and 
has told mee, Hee unll in no wise cast mee out. Oh! blessed 
Words! what shall I now do, but come? Lord! At thy 
Bidding / cornel And now I will sitt down satisfied. I 
know that the Lord Jesus Christ is both an able and 2i faith- 
ful Saviour, and by Him I shall bee saved from my Sins. 
That, that is the one Thing which I have desired; and that I 
will seek after, even, that my Iniquities may bee subdued; 
and that I may bee sanctified as well as pardoned. .Ajid, 
Oh! what a glorious Word is this! It belongs unto my 
Lord Redeemer now, to destroy aU my Sins. Why doth 
Hee call for my Heart? Is it not, that Hee might work all 
His own works in it? Why doth Hee knock at the Door of 
my Soul? Is it not, that he may come in to sett up His 
Kingdome there! And is that it? O Lord. Oh! lett that 
blessed thing bee done. And, now, I beleeve I shall bee 
saved. Being a Sheep, in the Hands of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, I never shall miscarry." 

These Passages I recite the more distinctly that so, 

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MAY,l68l II 

having been thus in my Youth, taught of God, I may do 
something towards the Teaching of my Children or others 
with whom I may leave these Papers, the Way oj Salvation 
by Jesus Christ. J®* This Day also I received an Assurance 
from the Lord, that I should yett live to do some great Ser- 
vices for Him. 

lo d. 3 m. [May.] This Day being taken with a violent 
pain in my Back and Side, which looked like a Messenger of 
Death, I wrote the following 

Thoughts. 

Oh! the Hardness of my Heart! If Mercies could have 
softned or quickned mee I should not have been as I am; 
but there is desperate Wickedness, from which I am yett 
uncleansed. I have sometimes thought I should never 
come to this Pass, when in secret Places, my filled Soul has 
been satisfied with the communion of the Blessed God. 
But nothing will now work in mee! Oh! I am as fitt for 
Sickness, as ever any poor Creature was. Fitt, in the same 
Sense, that a rotten Stump, is fitt for the Fire. And, Lord, 
shall I never bee awakened, until I feel the heavy Blowes 
of thy Hand? However, I have this to say. First, Lord, 
Thou canst rectify my Spirit every Way, without such bitter 
Corrections, as I have Reason to expect. Next, Lord, yett 
if thou wilt afflict mee, yett if I may bee brought thereby 
to see thee more, and love thee more, I submilt; here I am; 
aflaict mee; do what thou wilt with mee; kill mee; for thy 
Grace hath made mee willing to dy; orUy, only, only, help 
mee to delight in thee, and to glorify thy dearest Name. 

So filthy a Wretch as I who continually grieves the good 
Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and grow proud and vain 
when Hee do^ exalt mee with His Favors have Cause to 
mention His Assistences unto mee with a very trembUng 
Soul. 

And what shall I make of this Instance? 
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12 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

There was an honest Man in the Town, whom I lovingly 
and frequently rebuked, for his neglecting to join himself 
unto some Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. His Indis- 
position thereunto continuing, I told him. Well the God of 
Heaven hath by His Word been calling upon you; expect now 
to have Him speak unto you by a Blow! A few Days after 
this, the honest Man fell down from the top of an House and 
received a Blow, whereof hee lay, for some weeks, as dead. 
But coming to himself, one of the first things hee thought 
on, was what I had said imto him ; under the sense whereof, 
hee quickly went and joined himself unto the South church. 

14 d. 3 m. 1681. This Day I saw that I had great cause 
to humble myself in Fasting and Prayer before the Lord, 
and accordingly I sett apart the Day. 

Because, i. My old Iniquities might make mee walk 
softly in the Bitterness of my Soul, all the Dayes of my Life. 
Oh! I was never enough humbled for them! 

2. My late Infirmities have been very grievous, my proud, 
my wanton, my slothful Heart, fearfully testifies against mee. 

3. The Lord has been so provoked, as to withdraw the 
Light of His Countenance from mee, and leave mee in a con- 
dition of heavy Darkness. 

4. I am as unprofitable a Creature, as almost any I know 
in the World! 

5. Times of Trouble are coming, and I had need yett the 
Mark of God upon mee. 

For these causes, I devoted the Day imto the Lord; 
that I might abase mjself before Him, and implore His 
Blessings, in all Respects, upon mee. 

This Day, I thus renewed my Closure with the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

"Lord, I am a vile Sinner, and, which my Soul melts at 
the mention of. Thou art justly angry with mee. But, Oh! 
for a Reconciliation! Lord, Is there no Hope in Israel? Yea, 
thou hast opened a Door of Hope. And what a Word is that 

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MAY,l68l 13 

which thou hast spoken? Thou dost even beseech Sinners 
to bee reconciled unto thyself. Is that so? Lord, I am will- 
ing to bee reconciled unto thee; my very Soul desires to love 
thee, and love thy Wayes, and walk therein alwayes, even 
unto the End. But is there not a Jesus who delivers from 
the Wrath to come? A JESUS! Lord, my Soul now lives 
and melts at the Remembrance of that sweet Name. A 
JESUS who is a mighty Saviour. To Him I go; and, Lord, 
It is at thy Bidding that I go. It is Hee that formerly 
invited mee, formerly encouraged vaet, formerly assisted mee, 
to come imto Him, and I formerly have also found it good 
for mee so to do. Hee calls even such as I am, and solemnly 
professes, that Hee will not cast them out, when they come 
unto Him. Lo! then I come; I bring my Soul imto Him; 
Oh, lett Him save mee. Is not Hee a Priest, a Prophet, a 
King? Now, now I have enough, my Soul needs no more. 
Hee will bee these to mee, and therefore Hee will bee All 
to mee. And now I am satisfied! Tho' my Case bee so 
very bad, and tho' my Distempers are so very strong, that 
I am in myself at an utter Loss, how to releeve myself, yett 
Hee will bee my Undertaker; I will rejoice in that Lord, and 
in His Salvation. Hee will carry on the works which Hee 
has begun, till the Times of Refreshing do come from the 
Presence of the Lord." 

My Heart was this Day also melted with a marvellous 
Assurance, that I should enjoy much of the Divine Presence 
with mee in my Ministry. 

16 d. 3 m. Choosing, for the sake of some Conveniences, 
to retire for my Studies, into our spacious Aleeting-hotise, 
I had a strong Impression, on my Mind, there to make a 
Prayer, in one of the Pewes; and particularly, in a Pew belong- 
ing to one Mr. Middlecot; ' a Gentleman of good Fashion and 

' Richard Middlecot was admitted into the Church March 20, 1691-92. 

He was a merchant, son of Middlecott of Warminster, England, who served 

his apprenticeship with a merchant of Bristol. Married Sarah Winslow, widow 
of Miles Standish. Mass. Hist. Proceedings, xm. 410. 

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14 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Quality, in our Neighbourhood; but one of an airy Temper, 
and not yctt making much Show of Acquaintances with the 
Wayes of God: nor indeed, was hee any other than a 
Stranger to myself. Here, I cried unto the Lord, for this 
Gentleman, who was the owner of the Pew, that the Lord 
would work thoroughly and savingly on his Heart, and 
make him a really renewed Person, and lett mee live to see 
the Answer of these my Prayers. And I had my Heart 
filled, with a strange and a strong Hope, ihat my Prayers 
would at one Time or other bee graciously answered. 

Memorandum. About eleven years afterwards, I saw 
the Answer of these Prayers, when the \ery Gentleman 
joined unto our Church, and proved himself in further 
Instances a pious Person, and a great Blessing and Comfort 
unto myself.' 

4 £?. 4 7n. [June.] This Morning as I was going, for I 
knew not what myself, into one of our Chambers, I acci- 
dentally took up a Book, lying there ; which was Mr. H. 
Lukins of Prayer.* There I Utt upon this Passage, 

"Some Men go to Markett only for Company and 
Curiosity, and such are soon weary of being there; and may 
come home as soon as they please. But those that are Men 
of much Business, and great Dealing have many Occasions 
to take up their Time, which cause them many Times to 
stay late. Formal Christians ha\C httle to do with God, 
when they come to Him only for Company or Custome, but 
a serious Christian, that understands the Business of Chris- 
tianitie, hath so much to do, when hee comes to the Throne 
of Grace, and the Favour of God, to desire towards in so 
many particular Cases and on so many Occasions, that hee 
hardly knowes how to gett away." 

These Words were to mee like a Rebuke of Thunder. I 

' This memorandum is written in the marRin. 

'Henry Lukin (1638-1710), a non-conformist divine, whose "The Interest 
of the Spirit in Prayer" was printed in London, in 1674 and again in 1678. 

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JUNE , I 68 I 15 

thought, they came to mee, as if the Lord from Heaven 
had intended mee an Admonition for the Slothfulness, the 
Lukewarmness, the Formahty, which I saw was of late 
grown upon mee, in the Wayes of God. And I hope, not 
without some Impression! 

6d. 4 m. This Day, a good Woman, bewayled unto mee 
her Condition, on the Score of woful Thoughts pestering her 
Mind; Shee told mee, shee was rendred afraid of her Con- 
dition, because I had lately given it as one Mark of an 
effedtiolly called Person to have the Heart filled with New 
Thoughts. 

These words of hers were blessed by God unto my own 
Awakening. For upon Reflection I found that I had of 
late been dog'd with, proud Thoughts, in almost all I did. 

My Heart grew full of Distress, lest the unreasonable 
Pride, should provoke the God of Heaven, to deal terribly 
with mee. 

And a Sermon preached this week, by my Father about 
the Sin of Pride, I thought, I heard and wrote as my own 
Condemnation. The Apprehensions of the cursed Pride, 
the Sin of young Ministers, lurking and working in my 
Heart, filled me with much Bitterness and Confusion, 
before the Lord; and caused mee to resolve, nsr- that before 
the week was out, I would sett apart a Day, to humble my- 
self before God, for the Pride of m}- own Heart, and entreat 
that by His Grace, I may bee deUvered from that Sin, and 
from all the dreadful Wrath whereto I have been by that 
sin exposed. 

Which accordingly, I attended. 

II d. 4 m. This Day I sett apart, for Prayer, with 
Fasting before the Lord. 

And I did endeavour to humble myself this Day, as for 
my Unprofitableness in every Relation and my other mani- 
fold Corruptions, thus especially for my PRIDE, with the 
several Manifestations of it. 

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l6 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Concerning my PRIDE, I examined myself, by all the 
Discoveries of it; but I foimd especially two Respects, 
wherein I was most wofuUy guilty before the Lord. 

First, my Applauding of myself in my Thoughts, when I 
have done any Thing at all significant, pray'd or preach'd 
with enlargements, answered a Quaestion readily, presently, 
suitably, and the like. Proiid Thoughts fly-blow my best 
Performances ! 

Next, my ambitious Affectation of Praeheminencies, far 
above what can belong to my own Age or Worth, and above 
others that are far more deserving then myself. 

For my Humiliation, I then wrote these Considerations. 

"I. How do's my Pride render mee without the Image of God? 
It is indeed the very Image of Satan, on my Soul. The more any 
Man has of God in him, the more humble will hee bee and low and 
vile in his own Eyes, and empty of himself. WTien the Lord renewes 
His Image in us, Hee pulls downe our proud Thoughts. Tis true, my 
Pride is a most natural Sin. But Grace would overcome thai in a most 
special Manner and Measure. And then how little Grace have I! 
How unlike am I to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lowly one ! Oh ! Lett 
mee for this cause abhor myself in Dust and Ashes. 

"II. Do I not, by my Pride, grievously of end the Lord? It is 
a Breach of His Holy Command: And how often does Hee declare His 
Abhorrence of it. (See Psal. 138. 6 and Prov. 6. 17. and Hab. 2. 4.) 
His Uoly Spirit is thereby grieved; and how vehemently does the 
Scripture caution against all Tendencies thereunto! Shall I bear 
to think of ofiFending that God, who has been a Father to mee, and 
whom I have chosen, and vow'd that I would love and serve, as my 
God? Or that Spirit, upon the sweet Influences whereof my Soul 
does Uve, sealed unto the Day of Redemption: Oh! the inexcusable 
Wickedness of my Heart ! 

"HI. Is not my Pride a most unreasonable Folly and Madness? 
Have I any just Occasion for glorying in myself ? Do I any thing 
Singular? Am not I in most Attainments exceeded by most of my 
Calling and Standing? But, oh ! lett this bee a Dagger to my Heart! 
Have I not a cursed Nature in mcc ? And has not the Lord heretofore 
justly left mee unto some abominable Iniquities, the Sense whereof 
should cause mee to walk softly all my DayesI Lord, I am viler than a 

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jUNE,i68i 17 

Beast before Thee I Or, why should I seek Honour? Am I fitt for 
any Service ? Or, am I not rather unsavoury Salt, fitt for nothing but 
the Dunghill ? What am I better than the least of Saints ? If m any 
external Grandeurs I gett above them, I am thereby obnoxious to more 
Temptation and Sin, and Wrath. Ly then in the Dust, before God, 
O my Soul! 

"IV. How dangerous, How destructive, an Evil is this Pride of 
Mine! I provoke the God of Heaven to take away every one of 
those Idols, which in my fond Pride I dote upon; and if the Lord 
should now deprive mee of my Capacities and my Opportunities, 
where am I, but in an horrid Pitt of most unpittyable Miseries I Yea, 
lett me remember, Pride sooner than any thing will drive away the 
good Spirit of God from the Heart of a poor Creature. And if that 
should bee my Fate, Oh I Lord have mercy I What a Monument 
should I bee, of thy ireful and thy direful Vengeance! 

"0 that the Lord would sett home these Thoughts, for my 
Humiliation I 

" But what shall I do for the Cure of my Disease ? 

"I. In the first and cheef Place, I would carry my distem- 
pered Heart, unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and putt it into the Hands 
of that Alsuflicient Physician, for him to cure it 

"II. I would bee daily watchful against my Pride; and continu- 
ally keep an Eye upon my Heart and check the very Beginnings and 
first Motions of the Corruption. 

"III. I Would study much, the Nature, Manner, and Aggrava- 
tions of this Evil, and the Excellency of the Grace that is contrary 
thereunto." 

In the Supplications, which this Day I spread before 
the Lord, I was not without His Assistances. Especially, 
when I was crying unto the Lord, about and against, my 
Lust of Pride, which had this Day brought mee, unto the 
Dust. 

In one Prayer, I said, 

"Lord, What shall I do for the Cure of this Disease, my Pride? 
Blessed bee thy Name, that thou hast show'd mee a Way, and bid mee 
walk in it. Have I not heard thee saying to my stung and swoln 
and sinful Soul, Oh! look and bee saved I And therefore, by thy Grace, 
I'l do it. I have done it, and found, yea, to this Day I find, the 
Benefit of it. Why is it, that I am not insensibly and incureably 

1-2 

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l8 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

forever carried away Captive, by the Lust, which I am now warring 
with ? Tis because I had putt my Heart into the Hands of the Faith- 
ful Jesus; and Hee it is that hath not suffered mee to go on uncon- 
cerned about the Distemper of my Soul, but hath awakened mee to 
seek Releef at His Hands, as I do this Day. And now; Lord, I come 
unto Him. Hee sees how I am labouring and heavy-laden, but Hee 
has bid mee cotne. Do's not He call for my Heart ? But what kind 
of Heart ? It is not mention'd, but I am sure, tis my Heart, that is 
called for. Hence, tho' my Heart, bee a protid Heart, yell as long as 
tis tnine, I am to bring it. Yea, Lord, I bring it, because it is pruud. 
And wherefore, doth Hee call for it ? Is it not that Hee may sett up 
His Kingdome in it, and fill it with His Graces, and manifest the 
Power of His rich Goodness in it forever ? Oh ! then, lett Him take 
my Heart, and make it humble I Tis easy, with Him to do it. Tho' 
I can't overcome this Pride of mine, yett Hee can do it. Oh! Lett 
Him do it; I wait upon Him for it; yea I do beleeve, I am satisfied 
and assured that Hee will do it. I have not sought thy Face in 
Vain!" 

And in some of my further Prayers, the Lord, gave mee 
glorious Assurances, that Hee would never lea\e the Works 
which Hee had begun in my Soul, but fill mee \\ith His own 
most Holy Spirit and guide mee by^ His Counsel, til Bee 
brought mee to His Glory. 

US' And, that Hee would uphold mee graciously in my 
Ministry, yea, that Hee would employ mee to do pecuHar 
Services for His blessed Name. 

i8 d. 4 m. As the last Week, I kept a Day of Supplica- 
tion, so I was desirous this \\'eek to keep a Day of Thanks- 
giving, in secret Places before the Lord. 

I never knew of any person, or heard of more than one 
Person,' who did accustome themselves unto such an Exer- 
cise. But the Good Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, having 
taken Possession of my sinful Heart, I became inclined 
and instructed, unto such Methods of Religion, as were now 
before mee. 

I was now taught of God, thus to spend this Day. 

'My Grandfather Cotton {In the margin). John Cotton (1583-1653), whose 
daughter, Maria, married Increase Mather. 

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JUNE,l68l IQ 

I. To recollect the merciful Dispensations of God unto 
mee. 

II. To consider the Aggravations of those Mercies, in the 
Greatness and the Freeness of them. 

m. To register them in my Memorials. 

rV. To acknowledge them in my Devotions. 

And V. To contrive what Returns I should make by way 
of Gratitude imto the Lord. 

Accordingly; after Prayers for Assistance, I meditated 
over, the former Kindnesses of the Lord unto mee, which 
I have already recorded in my former Manuscripts; and 
returned my most hearty and solemn Thanks unto the 
Lord on the Account thereof. 

Especially, my Soul was moved, when saying, "Lord, 
Hast thou not pull'd mee out of the horrible Pill, and 
awakened mee to look after the Lord Jesus Christ, with a 
Sight of my Misery without Him ? Hast thou not helped 
mee to come unto my Lord-Redeemer and feel the begun 
and blessed Benefit thereof, in His Healing of mee, when my 
Soul has been endangered by Diseases that had been undis- 
covered? Whose Works are those that have been done 
upon my Soul ? Have I done those great Things on my own 
behalf ? Oh Lord, Not unto mee, Not unto mee, but unto thy 
Name is all, all, all the Glory due; and thou shalt have 
it. There shall Hallelujahs bee sung to Thee forever and 
ever. • 

The Forenoon being spent in these things, in the After- 
noon I proceeded unto the later Kindnesses of God unto mee 
in my later Experiences. Here I saw, besides my Life and 
Health, and outward Comforts continued still unto mee, 

I. As to my particular Calling, 

1. How wonderful is the Goodness of God unto mee, a 
vile Worm, in that Hee does employ mee, in the Ministry 
of the glorious Lord Jesus Christ! 

2. How Miraculous a Thing is the Freedom of Speech, 

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20 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

conferred upon mee, and enlarged unto mee, in most sen- 
sible Answers to many Prayers ! ' 

3. How mercifully has the Lord upheld mee in His 
Work, notwithstanding my weak Head, and my vain Heart, 
which render mee the unfittest of most Men living for 
eminent Services? 

4. How great and growing a Reputation has the Lord 
given unto mee, a most contemptible Creature, among His 
People! 

5. What comfortable Provision has the Lord made for 
mee, as to my temporal and saecular Condition; even to a 
Wonderment ! 

Think on these Things, my Soul. Soak thyself in the 
Meditation of them. 

To these Things, are to bee aimexed, 

The Smiles of God, upon my Father's Family; and upon 
the Town, and the Land, and the Congregation whereto I 
belonged. 

But especially, the Life and Health of my dear Father, 
whom I may reckon among the richest of my Enjoyments. 

The Lord helped mee in returning of Praises unto His 
Name, on these Accounts. 

IL As to my general Calling. 

1. Hath not the Lord brought mee out of a natural 
Estate, into the Kingdome of His dear Son? Lett mee 
eocamine this, and as long as I live, lett mee feed on the 
Foretaste, and when I dy, lett mee come to the full Fruition 
of this Happiness. 

2. Do I not most sensibly find the Lord Jesus Christ, in 
a strange, but a sweet Manner, with Acts of wonderful 
Wisdome, Goodness, Truth, carrying on the Interests of the 
Kingdomr, which Hee hath begun in my Mind and Life! 

' ' ' Blessed bee God also that hath imtyed your tongue so as you are able 
without troublesome impediment in your speech to speak of the great things of 
the Gospel in great Conpri'gations." Nathaniel Mather to Cotlon Maiher, March 8, 
1681 (82], 4 CoUctlions, VIII. 33. 

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JUNE,l68l 21 

And, what infinite Heaps of Mercy are contained in 
these two Particulars, my Hand cannot ever describe, or my 
Heart conceive. Lord! bring mee to Heaven, and then I shall 
know the Heighth, Depth, Length and Breadth, of what now 
passes all my Knowledge! 

These matters, I also spread before the Lord, on my 
KLnee, with my Praises for them. 

In the close of the Day, I came to ponder, 

What shall I now render to the Lord, for all His Benefits ? 

And my Thoughts upon that Question were, 

I. Shall I not love the Lord, and bee fervent, constant, 
unwearied in the Service of Him ? Especially in the Obliga- 
tion of the Rules, which I wrote at the Beginning of this 
year, for my future Conversation ? 

n. Shall I not endeavour to shine by a good Exemple. 
Yea, and orally upon just Occasion, as well as practically 
alwayes, bear a Testimony against the Levity of the young 
Generation ? 

III. Shall I not, husband and redeem, what I can, the 
golden Hours, which I enjoy in the midst of so many smiling 
Providences? And prepare for Affliction too, with all Speed 
and Care? 

nil. Shall I not every Day, in every Capacity, Rela- 
tion, Company, bee contriving. What can I now and here do 
for God? And lay myself out accordingly. Oh! that, oh! 
that. Oh! that, God would help mee, thus to do! 

Thus I concluded the Day, ashamed of my Offerings, but 
relying on the Mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the 
Acceptance of them. 

igd. 4 m. Lord's-Day. This Morning, my Heart was 
melted, in secret Prayer before the Lord, when I used these 
Words; 

"Lord, I am in thy Hands, a poor, broken, sorry despi- 
cable Vessel. But it is with Thee, to make mee a Vessel 
of Honour. Oh! Do so! This, even this, is the greatest 

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22 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

of my Desires. I am worthy to bee Nothing forever. But 
Oh! Lett thy Name have Glory by mee. Thou art worthy 
to bee exalted forever and ever. Oh! Do these Things in 
mee, and for mee, and by mee, that upon my Account it may 
bee said, the Power, the Wisdome, the Grace and the Truth 
of the great Jehovah! Lord, Thou art my Aim, and my AH, 
and my exceeding great Reward. 

Memorandum. About this Time I bought a Spanish In- 
dian, and bestowed him for a Servant, on my Father. This 
Thing, I would not remember in this Place, but only because 
I would observe whether I do not hereafter see some special 
and signal Return of this Action, in the Course of my Life. 
I am secretly perswaded, that I shall do sol ^ 

5 d. 5 OT. [July.] The Sight of my multiplied Failings 
in every Capacity this Day fill'd mee with Disquietment 
and Indignation. 

There were especially two Things that made mee very 
melancholy. 

First, The strange Unafectedness of my Heart, when 
thinking and speaking about the Things of God. Methinks, 
I am but a very Parrot in ReUgion! 

Secondly, My Idleness, my Listlessness, my grievous 
Mispence of my precious and golden Hoiu"s. 

The Lord helped mee to Address, my merciful High- 
priest, for Help against the Plagues, that are thus upon mee. 

6 d. $m. In Praeparation, for a public Fast, kept thro' 
the Colony, 2 I sett my self this Evening, to examine my 

'"Now see what I have recorded, in the Thirty Fourth year of my Life." 
In the margin. See under August 12, 1696. 

'The manuscript resolution for this fast, in the writing of Cotton Mather, is 
in the Mass. .irchivcs, xi. 8. It passed the General Court May 30, 1681. "It 
being a Time, wherein Cod is calling for greater fervency and frequency in the most 
solemn scekings of God in the face of Jesus Christ, then wee have ordinarily had 
experience of; both with respect unto the deep Consultations of the Antichris- 
tian party who have been complotting the subversion of the true Christian prot- 
cstant Religion, and in a more ispnial manner designing the destruction of the 
Lord's people in England, Scotland and Ireland; And in respect of ourselves, 
inasmuch as besides the particulars expressed in former Declarations of this Nation, 

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jULY,i68i 23 

manifold Unanswerableness to the Engagements that ly 
upon mee. I did with Tears confess and bewayl my Mis- 
carriages before the Lord; and at length, acting Faith in the 
Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; I concluded with a com- 
fortable Assurance, that my Sins were all pardoned, in that 
precious Blood. 

The Day following, in Consideration, that Reformation 
was the great Voice heard among us, I resolved with God's 
help to study it; 

I. In respect of Myself. 

Renewing my Purpose peim'd the Beginning of this 
Year, and especially, 

1. Labouring after a greater Sense of the Reality of 
Invisibles. 

2. Labouring to improve my Time, with more Diligence, 
to more Advantage. 

IL In respect of my Father's Family. 

1. To make my Brothers and Sisters, as many as are 
capable thereof, to take their Bibles, when the Scripture 
is read Morning and Evening before Prayers; and atten- 
tively accompany the vocal Reader. 

2. To gett my Sisters, as many of them as I can, to spend 
an Hour together every Day. Half of it, in writing and 

which should awaken unto prayer; the Lord hath largely threatned as if Hee 
would call for a Drought upon the Land; And our present State is on other accounts 
awfully circumstanced; nor have wee any but the Lord our God to betake our- 
selves unto for Salvation; and him wee have many a Time found to be a God 
hearing prayer. 

"Upon such considerations as these mentioned, this Court doth appoint 
the 7th of July next, to be observed as a day of public Humiliation throughout 
this Jurisdiction; hereby prohibiting all servile Labour upon that day; and earnestly 
exhorting the ministers of God, with all the Lord's Remembrancers, to lift up a 
prayer in this day of Rebuke and Trouble, and to wresth with him in a speciaU 
manner for his dear People in the Land, of our Fathers' Sepulchres. To entreat 
also the Continuance of Divine favour towards us in these Ends of the Earth, 
that the Lord our God would bee pleased still to bless us with Peace, Health, 
Liberty, reserving for us the appointed weeks of Harvest, and ordering all things 
wherein wee are concerned, well for us, that so our Souls may render solemn Praises 
to his glorious Name." 

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24 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

half of it, in furnishing themselves with Knowledge about 
the Matters of Religion. 

3. To sett a better Exemple of Seriousness and Gravity 
before them. 

III. In respect of the Place where I am. 

1. To pray frequently and fervently, for the Mending 
of what is amiss in it. 

2. To contrive what I can, for its Welfare, and com- 
municate my Contrivances to my Father, who can more 
properly and effectually putt in Execution. 

About the Middle of this Month, I lost abundance of 
precious Time, thro' tormenting Pains in my Teeth and 
J awes; which kind of Pains have indeed produced mee many 
a sad Hour, in my short Pilgrimage. 

In the Pains that were now upon mee, I sett myself, as 
well as I could for my Pains, to search and try my Wayes. 
I considered, 

I. Have I not siimed with my Teeth? How? By sin- 
ful, graceless excessive Eating. And by e^^l Speeches, for 
there are Lit era dentales used in them? 

II. This is an old Malady, from which I have yett been 
free, for a considerable while. Lett mee ask then; Have 
not I of late given way to some old Iniquity? 

22 d. 5 w. This Evening as I was in Meditation, enquir- 
ing and contri\'ing, liow I might glorify Cod? I happened 
then to look. thro' the Window upon the HeaNcns and this 
Thought was after a most powerful and refreshing Maimer 
cast into my Mind. Surely, if the Lord intended not forever 
to glorify mee in Heaven, Bee would nrcer have pult it into my 
Heart, that I should seek to glorify Him on Earth I 

6d. 6 m. [Aitf^ust.] 1681. Saturcday. Tho' I had already 
spent one Day this Week in Fasting and prayer, with our 
Young men's Meeting, to whom I preached on Ps. 8. 4.' 

' The entry is obscure, being crowded in the writing. The fourth verse is 
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou 
visitest him?" 

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AUGUST, l68l 25 

Yett I sett apart this Day for the hke Devotions in my 
Study. And this for these 

I. Causes of Humiliation. 

My old Sins, never to bee forgotten with my mourning 
Sotd. 

My late Falls into old Sins, in regard whereof my broken 
Vowes give mee broken Bonds. 

My great Unsteadiness, in observing and performing, my 
Resolutions. 

II. Matters of Supplication. 

That the Lord would bee reconciled unto mee. 

That the Lord Jesus Christ, by taking my Heart into His 
own Hands, would save mee from all my Sins. 

That I might have the Presence of God with mee, in His 
Work; and bee fa\'oured in my Utterance, Acceptance, and 
Success. 

That I may bee comfortably carried thro* the Concerns 
of my Commencement, the next week. 

That, my Life may bee spared and I may find God help- 
ing of mee, to do some special Services for His Name. 

That my Father and his Family and our Assembly may 
bee blessed with all suitable Mercies. ■ 

That this poor Land may bee refreshed with the wanted 
Showers of Heaven, and bee in all Respects healed and 
saved. 

This Day, I was melted into Tears, when putting my 
greatest Interests into the Hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and saying, 

"Lord, My Soul is full of Wants and Woes; but into thy 
Hands I putt it. Oh! Thou Mighty Saviour, bee thou the 
compleat Saviour of my Soul. Yea, I know thou wilt bee 
so. Never, never, never any Soul miscarried, that was in 
thy Hands. I shall not bee the First. I shall feel and find 
Thee saving of mee, and giving mee blessed Earnests of 
an Inheritance among the Saints in Light. Oh, my Lord; 
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26 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

my Soul can live upon Thee; tho' all my other holds do 
fail mee, as I am willing they should, yett I can live upon 
thee. I shall serve Thee a while in this World, and I will 
•want all the Dayes of my appointed Time, till my change do 
come. Then shall I walk thro' tite very Valley of the Shadow 
of Death, fearing no Evil, because my Soul does live upon 
thee. Tho' I am a vile Sinner, yett thy Mercy will in mee 
bee glorified!" 

gd. 6 m. This Day, I took my second Degree, proceeding 
Master of Arts. 

My Father was Prcesident, so that from his Hand I 
received my Degree. 

Tis when I am gott almost half, a year, beyond Eighteen, 
in my Age. 

And all the Circumstances of my Commencement, were 
ordered by a very sensibly kind Providence of God. 

My Thesis was, Piincta Uehraica sunt Originis Divinoe. 

23 d. 6 m. In secret Prayer before the Lord, my Heart 
was much moved, when I uttered these Passages. 

"Ah, Lord! My Soul desires Thee. I have sometimes 
fallen into Sin, but my Soul hates it, and has groaned under 
its own Slavery by reason of it. But as for Thee, Lord, my 
Soul does love thee; I choose thee, for my best Good and 
my last End. Lett mee enjoy Thee, and engage Thou 
for my Good. l@~ Especially, fill my Soul with Grace; lett 
thy Spirit, even bee poured out upon mee; and improve mee 
in special Services for thy Name. / bclcrcc it will bee so!" 

T,d. "J m. [September.] This Day I again spent in secret 
Humiliations and Supplications before the Lord. 

Matters of Humiliation, were, 

My old and new Sins. 

My exceeding Want of Grace. 

And my wonderful Unprofitableness in every Relation. 

Matters of Supplication, were, 

That God would bee reconciled unto mee; and that the 

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SEPTEMBER, l68l 27 

Mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, might rescue mee from 
the Dangers whereto my Sins exposed mee. 

That I may bee directed, assisted, supplied, in all the 
Concerns of my Ministry. 

And, that Blessings might [be] dispensed on all those 
Persons or Peoples which I ought more particularly, to 
bring imto the Lord. 

The Lord helped mee, in the morning of this Day, to 
bewayl my own Vileness, before Him, with many Tears, 
and with much Abasement, and Confusion of Spirit. 

When I came to seek Reconciliation, the Lord putt Argu- 
ments into my Mouth; I pleaded, Jer. 3. 12 and at last, I 
concluded, 

"Lord, What wilt thou have mee to do? Am I to con- 
fess my Sin? I have done it; Oh! do thou now forgive the 
Iniquity thereof. Am I to renounce my Sin ? I do so, I do 
it; it is an evil, bitter, hateful Thing unto mee. Thou art 
my only Portion. I declare, I protest, Thou shalt bee so; 
What have I any more to do with Idols? Am I to go unto the 
Lord Jesus Christ? He only can make Satisfaction for my 
Sins, and purchase my Reconciliation. To Him I would 
go. Lord, Help mee ; for tho' I hear Him calling, look and bee 
saved! and come and have Rest! Yett, except the Father 
'draw mee, I cannot look, I cannot com^. Well, In thy 
Strength, I do it. Oh! behold what that blessed High- 
priest has done and suffered, as done and suffered in my 
Stead. Oh! Lett mee bee accepted in the Beloved. And 
what will my Lord now say unto my Soul! Wilt thou say 
imto mee, thy Faith hath saved thee ! Wilt thou say unto mee, 
thy Sins are forgiven thee! WUt thou say unto mee. In my 
Son I am well-pleased with thee! Oh! I know not what to 
do. I cannot, I cannot live under thy Wrath. Dearest 
Lord; if thou wilt not refresh my Soul, with immedi- 
ate Intimations of thy being reconciled unto mee, yett 
I will catch hold of the Lord Jesus Christ, and cleave 

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28 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

to Him, while I have a Day to live, while I have any 
Being!" 

Afterwards, on this Day, I found my Soul somewhat 
comforted, when I thus addressed the Lord Jesus Christ. 

''Lord, in thee, there does all Ftdness dwell. I want no 
Part of Salvation, to which Thou art not able to help mee; 
and Thou knowest what Part I most want. Thou knowest 
the Pollution of my Soul, the Blindness of my Mind, the 
Hardness of my Heart, its Wandrings, and Wantoimess, 
and Pride, and woful Indispositions, and the grievous 
Temptations whereto I may be exposed. Oh! I putt my 
self into thy Hands: I beseech Thee to take the Care of 
mee, and fulfil in mee, and for mee, the good Pleasure of 
thy Goodness!^' 

But I earnestly sought unto the Lord, that before the 
Day were done, Hee would manifest of His Love unto mee, 
with some yett more effectual Intimations. 

And behold! Immediately after this, as I was then sit- 
ting in my Chair, the Lord brought unto mee that Scrip- 
ture, in Joh. 14. 23. Jesus said, If a man love mee, Hee wiU 
keep my Words, and ?ny Father will love Him, and wee will 
come to him, and make our Abode with him. My Heart was 
even dissolved upon the Reading of these Words. I said. 
Oh! I feel! I feel! I feci! I love the Lord Jesus Christ; I love 
Him dearly, I love Him greatly, yea, I love Him above all. 
And wlmt? Will God love mee, and will my Lord come to 
dwell with mee? Oh! Joy unspeakable and full of glory! 

At last, I concluded the Day, with Assurances that, my 
Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, had procured the Accept- 
ance of my Petitions in the Court of Heaven. 

"And now. Lord, wilt thou give mee {said I) one Glimpse 
of thy Love before I go ? What shall thy Spirit say unto my 
Soul? Dost thou love mee; Yea, or Xo? Well, my Dear, 
Dear, Dear Lord; Thou dost love mee so that I shall bee a 
Monument, exhibiting thy Grace forever and ever. Oh! 

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SEPTEMBER, 1681 29 

What Love, what Love, what Love is this! That I who have 
been so polluted, and so unworthy, should bee loved by 
the great God! Lord, Thy Loue will comfort, support, and 
make happy forever. Now, Oh! that I could praise Thy 
Name, and love Thee again, as thou art worthy that I should, 
with all my Heart." ' 

19 d. 7 w. This Morning, I began a Custome, which I 
found many wayes Advantageous to mee. 

My rising Thoughts, in the Morning, I chose to fix upon 
some Scripture, but sometimes upon some Question, which 
might bee of some special Consequence to my everlasting 
Interests. I judged, that my morning Thoughts, being 
placed as they should bee, on some divine and holy Subject, 
I should bee thereby the better disposed, unto the Fear of 
the Lord all the Day long. And that the passing of so many 
Truths, as would hereby pass thro' my Mind, would mar- 
vellously sanctify mee. The Text which I began withal, 
was, that in Zach. 13. i.' Whereon, the Head of my 
Meditations were cast into these three observations. 

"The Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, is fitly compared 
imto a Fountain. 

"This is an open Fountain. 

"And, the End of it is, for the washing away of Sin, 
which is uncleanness." 

This my Custome, I may explain, by giving one 
Instance more. 

On the Following Sabbath. 

" My Rising Thoughts were, on Isa. 56. 4.' 

"The Lord expresses the whole of Religion, under that 
Phrase, keep my Sabbaths. 

"Tis true concerning both Persons and Peoples, 

' Cf. Parkman, Jesuits in North America, J46. 

'"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and 
to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." 

•"For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and 
choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant." 

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30 DIARY OP COTTON MATHER 

"That if Religion desireably flourish, Sabbaths will bee 
duely kept. 

"But Religion will decay and wither, if Strictness 
about the Sabbaths do go. 

"Indeed, not to keep Sabbaths exactly, is both the 
Guise of, and the Way to, the greatest Irreligion. 

As has been said of Prayer, either Sin will make Men 
leave of praying, or Prayer will make Men leave ojff sinning; 
so may wee say of the Sabbath." 

I will give no more Instances. Tho' I did in certain 
Papers enter the Heads of my Thoughts, in vast Numbers 
of these Meditations. 

Yea, I went over many Portions and Chapters of the 
Bible in these morning Exercises; and I herein handled 
Multitudes of Cases referring to the most important Points 
of Christianitie. 

21 d. J m. Thoughts, then formed and written. 

There are certain miserable People to bee executed on 
the morrow, for horrible Crimes by them committed; A 
Man, for a Rape; and Two Negroes, for Burning of Houses, 
and Persons in them.' 

What use am I to make of this ? 

I. Lett mee, with deep Humiliation reflect on the Vile- 
ness of my own Heart. It was the holy Bradford's* Custome 
when hee heard of any atrocious Iniquity perpetrated, hee 
would lay his Hand on his Breast, and sa}', There is that in 
this Heart of mine, which would make mee as vile as the Vilest, 
if sovereign Grace did not prevent it. Alas, I have the Seed 
of all Corruption in mee. My Heart naturalh' departs from 
God; it is not any Vertue of my own, that keeps mee from 

'An account of this "ovennuch wicked" man, William Cheny, is in the 
Magnolia, Bk. vi. 40. The negroes were Marja (ncgress), servant of Joshua 
Lambe, of Roxbury, and Jack, a servant, of Samuel Wolcott, of Wethersfield. 
Records Court of Assislanls, I. 198. 

' William Bradford, of Plymouth Plantation. The saying has been attrib- 
uted to others, e.g. John Bunyan. 

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SEPTEMBER, 1681 3I 

the most enormous Villanies. Oh! the Plague of my own 
Heart! Yea, and am I not guilty of Unbeleef? wherein 
there is as horrid Sin, as in the most horrible Abomi- 
nations that the Sword of civil Justice takes Vengeance 
for. O that I could abhor myself in Dust and Ashes; 
and when I see Malefactors hanged and burned, I may 
judge myself unworthy to breath in God's Air, yea worthy 
to bee condemned unto everlasting Fire, with the Divel and 
his Angels. 

II. Lett mee bee exceedingly Thankful, for the restrain- 
ing Grace of God, which I may look back upon. Lord, why 
have not the Outbreakings of my corrupt Nature, been as 
hideous as any whatsoever! My Nature is as corrupt, as 
any Man's in the World. Furious Temptations, to the worst 
of Wickednesses, at the very Thoughts whereof my Heart 
shivers, have sometimes assaulted mee; and I have been 
upon the very Brink of such Confusion, as perhaps never any 
poor Creature fell into. What was it that then upheld mee? 
Lord! Thou hast restrained mee, and Thou shalt have the 
Glory of this Goodness forever. 

III. Lett mee observe the Wayes of sinful Apostasy, 
that have carried any unhappy Wretches unto a fatal Mis- 
carriage and a final Overthrow: and now avoid the same in 
myself, with all the Care imaginable. Yea, and solemnly 
warn others, as far as God gives Opportunitie, to take heed 
of the like Undoings. 

The bitter Anguishes raised in my Soul, by violent and 
enslaving Temptations, to Sins that had heretofore given 
mee the worst of Wounds imaginable, these were in this 
Month very singularly exercising to mee. 

I had no Remedy, but continually to fly and cry unto 
the Lord Jesus Christ; which I did, as a most wretched Man, 
for my Deliverance. 

But, I desire, to walk humbly before the Lord, all my 
Dayes, in the Remembrance of the lothsome Corruptions, 
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32 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

which my Soul has been from my Youth polluted withal. ' 
Lord, Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? 

Altho' I have been kept from such Out-breakings of 
Sin, in Actions towards others, as have undone many in the 
World, yett I have certainly been one of the filthiest Crea- 
tures upon Earth. 

If ever the Lord make any Use of mee to glorify His 
Name, after I have been such a polluted Siimer, the free, 
rich sovereign Grace of God, will have as glorious a Triumph 
as ever any poor Sinner could afford unto it. 

I d. Sm. [October.] After my rising Thoughts had been 
employed on, Psal. 126. 5.* I spent this Day in sowing the 
Tears of Repentance and SuppUcation; with Desires to 
humble myself before God, for my old Sins, and for my late 
ones; especially my exceeding Sluggishness and Laziness, 
and woful Dulness, in the Service of God, and obtain His 
Mercy, in the Pardoning and Subduing of my Sins, and my 
enjoyment of EOis Presence with mee, in my Ministry. 

My Spirit was in Agonies this Day, when after my Con- 
fession of Sin, I found my Heart yett unbroken. I cried 
unto God, that Hee would embitter Sin to mee, and give mee 
a just Sorrow for my being so sinfully Sorrowless as I am. I 
concluded, 

"And, Lord, I hope, thou hast now taken away my 
Delight in Sin. My Heart would abhor it, and resist it. 
My Soul does not like it. I think it is thus with mee. If 
it bee not thus, Lord, lett mee know it. Search mee, try 
mee, see if there bee any way of Wickedness in mee. If I 
have done Iniquity, or if I delight in doing it, show it mee, 

' His brother, Nathaniel, said: "Of the manifold sins which then (in boyhood] 
I was guilty of, none so sticks upon me as that, being very young, I was whitling 
on the Sabbath-day; and for fear of being seen, I did it behind the door. A great 
reproach of GodI a specimen of that athciuit that I brought into the world with 
me!" Magnolia, Bk. iv. Ji6. The extract illustrates the unfortunate moral 
surroundings of a child under the teachings of the day and the extraordinary 
application of the word atheism. 

' "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." 

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OCTOBER, i68i 33 

and / %vill do so no more. I would give thee, my Heart and 
Love, and Sotd, and all that I have, or am, or can. I am, 
like the man with a imthered Hand, essaying to do it. my 
Lord, Help mee, in this my Resignation." 

Afterwards, I made these attempts, at closing with the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

"I have plunged my Soul down into an horrible Pitt of 
Sin and wo; but I caimot think of lying there. Salvation, I 
must, I must bee made Partaker of. And what shall I do? 
I am utterly unable to save myself. But there is one 
mighty to save, one whom God has laid Help upon; Him, 
Him would I look unto. my Lord Jesus Christ! Tho' 
I may bee still as wretched and sinful as ever, yett is it not, 
is it not, as much my Duty to come unto thee as ever ! Art 
thou not able to save mee? Lord, I will never dispute tliat; 
I know Thou art, bee my Sins never so many, and never 
so horrid, and bee my Heart never so hard, and my State 
never so sad. And art thou not willing to save mee? In- 
deed, I am imworthy; and I have nothing in mee, to move 
thee, unto any saving Notice of mee. Yea, I have rejected 
Thee, and therefore thou mayst reject mee; and then I am 
in a forlorn Condition indeed! But, Lord, it repents mee, 
that I have rejected thee, I will never, never, never do so 
again. My Soul now followeth hard after thee. I see my 
Need of thee; and an excellent Beauty in thee. Oh! 
Surely Thou art willing to imdertake in the Work of my 
Salvation. Didst thou putt away those that came imto 
thee, for the Healing of their bodily Diseases, when thou 
wast visibly incarnate here in this lower World? Art not 
those things recorded, as an Intimation of what Method I 
should use, and what, Success I should find, in my addressing 
of thee, for the Healing of my Soul? Yea, which is a Word 
full of Life and Heaven! Tis one Thing in the Faith required 
of mee, to beleeve thy Willingness to accept of miserable 
Sinners, when they come unto thee; so that if I doubt thy 

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34 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Willingness, I shall bee guilty of a very criminal Unbeleef. 
Oh ! therefore I look up unto Thee. WUt thou pass by mee, 
now thou seest mee in my Blood; and shall it not be a Time 
of Love? Wilt thou not say unto mee, Live? O, lett mee 
now, beleeving, rejoice with joy unspeakable and f till of Glory! 
The Lord Jesus Christ, will bee my Priest, Prophet, King. 
Hee wUl engage for my good. Hee will take away my 
Sins. Hee' will bring mee safe Home to His Father's House 
forever!' 

>&■ Towards the close of the Day, I could not but use 
these words ; Lord, I know Thou wilt bee with mee. Lord, I 
know Thou wilt improve inee in eminent Services for thy Name. 
Lord, I know Thou will signalize mee, as thou hast my Father, 
my Grandfathers, and my Uncles before mee. Hallelujah. 

Sd. 8 m. As I kept this Day se'imight a Day of Sup- 
plication, so I sett myself to keep this, as a Day of Thanks- 
giving, alone in my Study. 

On this Day, having largely revolved the former Mercies 
of God with mee, I proceeded then to enumerate further 
Mercies. 

I. On my spiritual Estate, I observed. 

I. It is the infinite and stupendous Grace of the blessed 
God, that Hee has taken any Kind of Notice of my Soul 
at all. Are not ]\jIillions left eternally to perish under the 
Wrath of God. And, why mee. Lord, why mee? Oh! why 
should I bee singled out, as a Monument whereon Mercy 
shall bee glorified forever? This Consideration will have a 
wonderful Share, in the Fulness of Joy, that is in Heaven 
above; Lett mee now \\ith a ravishing Astonishment of 
Soul, begin the Contemplation of it. I never had any 
thing to move the Lord, unto any kind Notice of mee, but 
lay like a wretched Infant in my Blood. And for the Lord 
now to pass over millions, of a better Disposition, of more 
Learning, more Wisdome, and more Figure in the World, and 
look with an Eye of Love, upon so crabbed, foolish, despic- 

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OCTOBER, l68l 35 

able a Soul as / am! No Reason can bee given, but, 
Father, it hath so pleased Thee I 

2. And, yett, very great are the Things which the great 
God has done for mee. Hee has not only offered such an 
Alsufficient Saviour, as the Lord Jesus Christ, unto such an 
every way forlorn Creature as I am, upon such happy Terms, 
as those in the Gospel, and continued so to do, after I had 
rejected Him, and exposed myself thereby to His hottest 
Indignation : But Hee has also made mee to feel my Wants 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, and so to prize Him, that I have 
been willing, yea, earnest and restless to obtain an Interest 
in Him. And yett further, I have also found the Lord 
Jesus Christ, a mighty and a faithful Saviour, altogether as 
good as His Word. Hee has been with a strong Hand saving 
of mee, and kept mee from dark Pitts of Sin and of Death, 
which I have been ready to stumble into, and favoured mee 
with two Things, which (however vile I am) I caimot but 
acknowledge. 

One is, A tender Heart; not able to live quietly under 
the smaller Neglects of God, which the GeneraUty of Chris- 
tians give way unto. 

The other is, an active Mind; uneasy except when I am 
doing something to promote the Kingdome and advance 
the Glory of God, in my Generation. 

II. On my Employment in the Ministry of the Gospel, 
I observed; 

1. The Freedom of Speech, bestowed on mee by a 
Miracle, is by a Miracle continued unto mee. Hereby I 
have not only an Advantage to do good, but the Glory of 
the Divine Power and Bounty is after a most affecting 
Manner displayed before many Hundreds of the Children 
of Men. And this I enjoy, tho' by Sin daily provoking of 
Heaven to take it away. 

2. My Life and Health are spared, albeit I have been 
wicked enough to dy before my Time. 

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36 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

3. I am employ'd in a populous Place, the Metropolis 
of the whole English America, and may cast the Net among 
much Fish. 

4. And I am herein a Colleague to a Father; yea., to a 
Father, given mee from the Dead, and one of my greatest 
Blessings. 

5. I am esteemed and honoured among the people of God, 
who pray for mee. 

6. I have seen some Success of my Labours; many that 
have joined unto our Churches, have acknowledged it. 

III. On my external Conditions, I observed, 

1. My Comforts in my Father^ s Family. 

2. My convenient Study, with a well furnished Library.^ 

3. My considerable Salary. 

4. My prospering in my Care of my Pupils. 

5. A Constellation of many snuling Providences. 

To these Things, I added, the Smiles of God upon 
Others, wherein I am concerned. 

These Things, I did on my knees, in several Prayers, 
acknowledge before the Lord; at last concluding: 

"Oh! my Lord; tho' I have sinned against Mercy, and 
been unworthy of Mercy, yett I have been a Child of Mercy, 
my Life has been filled with Mercy, and thou hast followed 
mee with Goodness and Mercy all my Dales. Praise waiteth 
for Thee. I thank God, thro' Jesus Christ, my Lord." 

So I came to consider on that Qusestion. 

What shall I render to the Lord, for all His Benefits? 
Here, besides my Renewal of the Resolutions penned 
in the beginning of this Year, I did resolve upon two 
Things, 

L To have my sett Times for Meditations on that 
Enquiry, what is there that I may do for the Interests of God! 

' The reference is more probably to his father's library. Cotton Mather 
early began to accumulate a library, which in time came to be one of the largest 
in the Province. The history of the Mather libraries is told by Julius H. Tuttle 
in the Am. Antiq. Soc. Proc, xx. new series, 269-356. 

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OCTOBER, i68i 37 

II. To act as much as may bee, for God, in every Action. 
And therefore, 

Before I study, or preach, or hear, a Sermon; 

Before I make a Visit; 

Before I eat a Meal; 

Before I sett upon any Recreation; 

Before I fall asleep at Night; 
I would still have distinct Thoughts, lett mce now do this 
(or, / will do this) for God. 

9&- The Lord having taught mee thus to fall into the 
Way of declared and expUcit Acting for Him, tis incredible 
what a new Life of Soul, I did thereby Experience. My 
Soul was from this Time raised into an high, a sweet, an 
heavenly Way of Living; I something felt the Meaning of 
dwelling in God, tho' no Books or Men on Earth had ever 
instructed mee how to do it. The Thoughts of being for 
God, continually, and of expressly interesting the great God, 
in all my Motions, exceedingly ravished mee. 

Thus the Holy Spirit of God, most mercifully discovered 
somewhat of the Possession, which Hee had long since taken 
of mee. Thus did the Faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
appear, in carrying on the Sanctification, for the producing 
whereof I had relyed upon Him. And thus, while I was yett 
a Child, I fell into some singular Methods, of doing those 
things, which might render mee in Time, a Man of God. 

gd.Sm. Lord's-Day. This Day, the Lord made mee 
somewhat an Instrument of His Praises, to encourage my 
Endeavour at His Praises yesterday. I went unto the Pulpit 
of my old Grandfather Cotton, in the Old Church of Boston; ' 
and there, being thereto called, I preached, with a very sin- 
gular Assistance of the Lord. Yea, Such was His power- 
ful Presence with mee, that some afterwards declared their 

• John Cotton was installed as Teacher in the First Church in October, 1633, 
Rev. John Wilson being the Pastor. He served the church until his death in 
1652. 

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38 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

melted and broken Hearts, could hardly forbear crying out 
aloud, in the Assembly. 

i6d.8m. Lord's-Day. As I was going to serve the 
Lord Jesus Christ in the pubUc Assembly, I did on my 
Knees in my study utter such Words as these. 

"Lord, If I might hold forth much of Thee, If I might 
glorify Thee, and bee a Vessel by Means whereof a great 
Revenue of Praise may redound unto thy great Name, I 
should count it, yea, I have clwse it, as my greatest Happi- 
ness; and this Happiness, / know, I shall, I shall, I shall 
enjoy it forever! 

29 d. 8 m. In the Fear, and by the Help, of God, 
lamenting my most lamentable Temptations, both unto 
Slothf illness, and unto some Degrees of Want<ynri€ss, 1 sett 
apart this Day, for the Duties of a secret Fast before the 
Lord. 

One of my Exercises this Day, was to pen down the 
following Arguments, which encourage mee to beleeve that 
tho' my Sins are many and mighty, yett they are all 
forgiven. 

1. There are in the Scriptures, blessed Encouragements, 
unto the vilest of Siimers, to hope and wait, and seek for 
pardoning Mercy. Particularly, 

Psal. 130. 4. Isa. 55. 7. 

Exod. 34. 6, 7. Mic. 7. 18 

Neh. 9. 17. Isa. i. 18 

II. The Lord Jesus Christ is Alsufficient Sa\'iour, in and 
thro' whom, the worst of Siimers may recei\e Atonement. 
Consider 

Zach. 13. I. Math. 26. 28 

Math. I. 21. Acts. 5. 31. 

Now, I. I go to the Lord Jesus Christ, for a Pardon. 
I now do it, and I have heretofore done it. So, being justi- 
fied by Faith, I shall have Peace with God. Rom. 5. i. 

2. I attend those Things, which are the Symp tomes of a 

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OCTOBER, l68l 39 

True Faith, and have the Promise of a Pardon thereunto 
annexed. 

First; Hee that confesseth and forsaketh shall find Mercy. 
Prov. 28. 13. Now I confess my Sins; I do it on my knees. 
And in my Affection, I forsake them all. Why else, do I sett 
apart such Dayes as these to combate, and to distress, my 
Lusts, and obtain the Destruction of the most beloved 
among them? 

Again; Hee that judgeth himself sJtall not hee judged of 
the Lord. i. Cor. 11. 31. I judge myself as the worst of 
Siimers; Hence the Great God, will in and thro' His own 
Son, my Surety, judge mee righteous. I judge myself 
worthy of Death, Death, Death forever. Hence, the great 
God, on the Account of Him that has made Himself a 
Sacrifice for mee, will jiidge mee to Life eternal. 

Thus did I try to argue myself into the Faith, and Hope 
of my Justification. But I must say, that I found no Spirit 
in aU this rational way of Arguing: None of the Argu- 
ment brought unto my Soul, that joyful Peace which I 
wanted. At last, the Spirit of God powerfully came in 
upon my Heart, and enabled mee to receive the Pardon of 
my Sin, offered freely imto mee, with the Righteousness of 
the Lord Jesus Christ; and this without any distinct Con- 
siderations, on my having these and those Conditions, 
wrought in mee. Then could I, and never till then, rejoice 
with Joy unspeakable and full of Glory. Afterwards, t'was 
comfortable for mee, to see in my self, the Conditions of a 
pardoned Sovl. 

30 d. 8 m. Lord's-Day. Taught of God, I fell upon a 
particular Way to exercise Grace, and proceed regularly and 
methodically at the Table of the Lord. 

The Instance this Day was this. 

'Workings of Heart. 
"At the Administration of the Bread. 

"Do I need the Lord Jesus Christ? 

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40 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

"Yes, infinitely. But cheefly on two Accounts. 

"The Guilt of Sin on mee,is mountainous: none but Hee 
can remove it. 

"The Power of Sin in mee, is marvellous: none but Hee 
can subdue it. 

"But, am I willing to have the Lord Jesus Christ? 

"Yes, most readily. For 

"There is a dreadful Necessity that the Maladies of my 
Soul should bee releeved. 

"Hee, and none but Hee can releeve them. 

"I cannot find any Thing unlovely in the Lord Jesus 
Christ. All His OflSces and Benefits are desireable. 

"And therefore. Lord I am willing. 

"Art Thou so! Then take Him; said the Lord; / give 
Him to Thee. 

"And by this Time, the Bread is brought unto mee, to 
seal this Gift; which I take accordingly. 

"And now, I proceed, the Lord Jesus Christ is mine; 
if I won't beleeve it, with Thomas, I may now see it, feel it, 
tast it. And Hee will engage for my Good, and perfect 
every Part of my Salvation. 

"At the Administration of the Wine. 

"The first Covenant being broken, and speaking nothing 
but Confusion to fallen Man, the gracious God enters into a 
New-Covenant, of Grace. 

"In it, is tendered all manner of good, for Beleavers on 
the Lord Jesus Christ, the Mediator of that Covenant. 

"Am I willing thus to come under the Way of this 
Covenant? 

"Yea, Lord, Thou hast made mee willing. 

"Then, said the Lord, Here is the New Testament in my 
Blood. 

"By this Time, the Wiuc comes, and I drink of it, and 
thereby I have all the good of the Covenant sealed unto mee. 

"And now, I proceed, I shall have Repentance and 

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OCTOBER, l68l 41 

Remission of Sins. There are some Sins, wherefrom I shall 
bee certainly praeserved, and at last I shall be wholly rescued 
from all. All my Changes in this World, will bee weU- 
ordered for mee; and I shall bee safely brought unto Glory 
at the Last." 

With what Variety of Contrivance, may I now approache 
unto the Table of the Lord! ' 

I foresee, I shall not have Liesure to write, the Devo- 
tions, which I have used in this one Way of suiting my 
Thoughts, to the Circumstances that pass at the Lord's 
Table. However, it may bee, I shall insert one or two 
Examples more, if I Uve till hereafter, for the Instruction 
of my Uttle Folks, for whom these Papers are intended. 

About this Time, there was a Proposal made among 
many devout People, in this Coimtrey, to retire, each one, 
every Monday, between eleven and twelve a clock, for 
secret Prayer before the Lord, purely on the behalf of the 
Church abroad weltring imder grievous rersccution, and 
our own Land now in many threatning Circumstances.* 

' In i6go Mather published a little volume, A Companion far Communicants, 
composed of discourses upon the nature, the design and the subject of the Lord's 
Supper, with "Devout Methods of preparing for and approaching to that Blessed 
Ordinance." It was dedicated to the Church in the North Part of Boston, and 
especially to Sir William Phips, John Richards, Adam Winthrop, John Foster, 
and Dr. John Clark, who were instrumental in having the book printed. Sections 
were devoted to self-examination, embodying the later developments on the lines 
indicated in the text. 

'The French King, Louis XIV, in June, 1681, issued "an Edict unsurpassed 
in the history of religious persecution for its mixture of hypocrisy and cruelty. 
It declared that children of Protestant parents might declare themselves con- 
verted to Catholicism at the age of seven. The Edict, which at first sight seemed 
merely ridiculous, proved in its working a terrible weapon of religious coercion. 
Any trivial acts or words could be interpreted as implying adhesion to Catholicism; 
then came the invasion of Protestant households and the forcible abduction of 
children. All appeals to the king were in vain. He had perhaps not yet deter- 
mined on the revocation of the Edict [of Nantes]; but he told Ruvigny, 'the deputy- 
general of the Reformed churches,' that he was henceforth 'indispensably bound 
to effect the conversion of all his subjects and the extirpation of heresy.'" Cam- 
bridge Modern History, v. 23. In England Charles had dissolved his last Par- 
liament, and the effects of the so-called Popish Plot were still felt. 

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42 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

A practice of this Nature, had been agreed among many 
N[on] C[onformists] in Great Britain and Ireland; and 
from thence it came to bee recommended here. Now, tho' 
many good Men disliked it, as having somewhat of Super- 
stition in it, yett I did very successfully promote it, among 
many Scores of pious People in this Country, as having in it, 
nothing but what was allowable, commendable, and what 
was agreeable to a pious and public Spirit. 

Many good Men did afterwards highly bless God, for 
this Proposal; and I did myself a long while more or less 
attend it.' 

In the Month of November, Messengers from the ancient 
and famous Church of Newhaven addressed themselves unto 
mee, to become their Pastor, but I did not comply with their 
Desires.2 Nevertheless, on this occasion, I sett myself to 
admire the most wonderful Grace of God, that so mean, 
and vile a Creature as I am, should bee at all acknowledged 
among His People. 

And while I was, with much Amazement of Soid, con- 
sidering the incureable Corruptions, of my Heart, that as it 
were, defy'd all the Means of Mortification, j'ea, and even 
my best Endeavours to putt my Heart into the Hands of 
the Lord Jesus Christ for cure, I yett wrote the following 
Thoughts. 

"I think, _^r.y/, the Lord will not utterly destroy mee. 
Hee has wrought those Works in nice, that, I hope, Hee will 
never disown or forsake. If Hee do, I shall bee the dire- 
fullest exemple of a deluded and an exalted Hypocrite, that 
ever was! Lord, Ictt my Soid tremble! 

"But, Secondly, the Lord will bring my Soul down into 

• Written in the margin. 

' For ten years after the death, in 1674, of Rev. Nicholas Street, the colleague 
and successor of John Davenport, the church of New Haven was without a regu- 
larly constituted pastor. At this time John Harriman was serving, and there 
were differences of opinion in the church, of which little is known. Bacon's Bis- 
Icrical Discourses, 1 59. See letter from the New Haven church to Increase Mather, 
April 17, i68j, in 4 Collections, viii. 692, 308. 

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KOVEMBER, l68l 43 

the Dust, and under all Enlargements and Attainments, 
cause mee to abhor myself. And I have infinite Reason so 
to do. If ever I am lift[ed] up with Pride, I shall bee, {LordI 
I here own it under my Hand!) a most unreasonable Wretch. 
I must walk softly and sorrowfully as long as I breathe on 
Earth. Shame is to bee my Garment, Grief my meat. Tears 
my Drink, and Sighs my Language, as long as I am related 
imto this vile Body! 

" And, thirdly, Strength against Sin,is a Mercy so glorious, 
that the Lord will have mee stirr up myself and wrestle and 
struggle to purpose, before I shall attain it. Wherefore, 
Lord, I here make my Vow, that I will never give Thee, or 
my own Soul rest, until my dearest Lust, become as bitter as 
Death, as hateful as Hell unto mee." 

2\d.gm. A pubHc Thanksgiving, being celebrated in 
the Coimtrey,' I did on that Occasion, thus recapitulate, 
the Favours of God unto mee; following the Method of 
Jacob, in the thirty second Chapter of Genesis. 

I. The Lord hath shown mee, very much of His Good- 
ness and His Truth. How many are His Mercies! (Psal. 
119. 156.) And how mighty! (Psal. 126. 3.) The least of 
them worthy of an Hallelujah. 

1. Common Mercies; Life, and the Comforts of it, I 
enjoy, in more than a common Manner. 

2. Special Mercies. Whereof, I single out these, for my 
present Observation. 

^ Mass. Col. Records, v. 324. The manuscript resolution, in the writing of 
Cotton Mather, is in the Mass. Archives, xi. 21. It was adopted October 21. 
"The Court being sensible of the Goodness of the Lord in remembring Mercy 
towards his people inhabiting this Wilderness, in the midst of Judgment which 
wee have had Experience of; since in the Time of the late Drought Hee did gra- 
ciously incline His Ear to the Prayers of his People, in sending down seasonable 
showrs of blessing from Heaven, so as that the Harvest this year hath not wholly 
failed, as once there was cause to fear it might have done; Being also sensible of 
the Divine favour as yet continued to us in respect of our Libertyes both civil 
and sacred, and the public Peace and Health, which God hath this last Year blessed 
this Land with, and that Thankfulness for such invaluable mercys is the way 
still to enjoy them." 

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44 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

I. W iihin my own SovH. 

1. I hope the Spirit of God, has brought mee home unto 
the Lord Jesus Christ. 

2. I am sure the Lord hath powerfully inclined mee, to 
live unto Himself, and made mee above aU Things desirous, 
to bee unto llic Praise of the Glory of His Grace. 

2. Anion ii others. 

1. The Lord has improved mee, in the Ministry of His 
Blessed Son. To mee, who am less than the least of all Saints, 
is this Grace given. 

2. Therein Hee hath given mee the Happiness to hold 
forth Something of Himself. 

1. Hee hath made my poor Endeavours, both public 
and private successful unto Good. 

2. Hee hath done those things, for mee, which give 
others to see and hear, and magnify His own great Name, 
which is the Heaven of Heaven itself. 

II. I am less than the least of all this. For, 

1. Had I been the most upright, and fruitful, and useful 
Man in the World, yett I could have merited Nothing, at 
the Hands of God. 

2. Whereas, I have done just Nothing at all, for the 
Lord; no Service, no Honour, has Hee had of mee. 

3. Yea, I have done \ery much against the Lord, and 
been a \'iler Creature, than I know any one in all my 
Generation. 

Bless the Lord, O my Soul, and all that is within 
mee! 

26 d. 9 w. In a Self-EXAMINATION, praeparatory to 
a Communion. I find 

I. Not only my Understanding sees, but my Will chooses 
the Great God, as my best Good, and my last End. 

I. My Interest in Him, is my greatest Wish and Joy. 
According to Psal. 4. 6. Psal. 73. 25. Psal. 16. 5, 6. Lam. 
3. 25. Isa. 26.13. 

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DECEMBER, l68l 45 

Obj : Then you would bee more careful and earnest for 
the Securing of it. 

Am. I. I mourn under, and strive against, my own 
Coldness, and endeavour to stirr up myself. 

2. My Zeal to make sure of any other Enjoyment, is not 
so lively, as to make sure of this. 

2(3]. I do heartily embrace and propose the Glorifying 
of Him, as the main Design, which I would bee and live 
and work upon. 

Obj: How do you know that? 

Ans: I. By my frequent and actual Dedications to His 
Glory. 

2. By the Disposition of my Heart, in Prayer, for any 
Mercy; above all, for that Mercy. 

3. By my exceeding Satisfaction, when I see God acknowl- 
edged, especially when by race, or by my Means. 

n. With much Detestation, I reject all that, which 
hath made a Separation between the Lord and my 
Soul. 

Sin, is that accursed Thing, Isa. 59.2. Wherefore, 

I. I lament it. 2. I abhor it. 3. I labour to avoid it. 

ni. I essay to come unto the Lord Jesus Christ, the 
ever-glorious Mediator, that I may bee instated in the full 
Enjoyment of God. According to Joh. 14. 6. 

1. Thirsty after thf Fountain of Life in God, I go to the 
Lord Jesus Christ, as the Way. 

2. I would have None but Him, to bee my Saviour. 

3. I am free, that Hee should execute every One of all 
His Offices, in the accompUshing of my Salvation. 

Blessed bee my Lord, who has not left mee destitute of 
His eternal Mercies! 

21 d. 10 m. [December.] As I lay in my Bed, this Morn- 
ing, many glorious Thoughts passed thro' my Mind; where- 
with I gave up my whole self, unto God, in the Lord Jesus 
Christ; and I contrived particularly, how my Body, each 

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46 DIARYOFCOTTONMATHER 

Member of it, might [be] serviceable unto Him, in bringing 
of Honour to His blessed Name. 

24 d. 10 m. Examining myself, by the Discoveries of, 
tlie Power of Godliness, in Mr. White's Holy Book, on 
that Subject I found myself, not altogether a Stranger 
thereunto. 

Only, I find myself defective, in the Entireness of 
my giving up myself unto God, so as to bee troubled, 
if any love mee, prize mee, but not purely upon His 
Account. 

Wherefore I resolved, that I would labour after greater 
Attainments, in this matter. 

2$ d. 10 m. Lord' s-Day. I will once again record the 
Methods of my Soul at the Table of the Lord. 
At the Administration of the Bread. 

Qu: Do I not impensely desire to live unto the glorious 
God, and glorify His blessed Name, throughout all my Life, 
yea, while I have any Being? 

An: Yes; this one Thing have I desired, and this mil I 
seek after. 

Qu: But feel I not, that I want Strength to do that 
glorious Thing? 

An: Alas, yes, I do so. My lamentable E.xperience has 
told mee this. 

Qu: WeU, there is now Strength enough in the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Am I willing that Hee should bee ray Strength? 
and am I desirous to live upon His blessed Strength? 

An: Yes, most heartily. 

Then thou shall have it, sales the Lord. And imme- 
diately the Bread now comes to mee, and seals to mee my 
Union with tlic Lord Jesus Christ, and the Strength, whereof, 
I now consider that I shall thereby bee made Partaker. 
At the Administration of the Cup. 

Qu: Is there a great Salvation, whereof the Lord Jesus 
Christ has been the Author? 

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JANUARY, l68l-82 47 

An: Yes: great upon all accounts; the Price of it, the III 
from which, and the Good in which, it is. 

Qu: Is it not all oj^ered unto mee? 

An: Yes, the Lord holds forth all saving Benefits unto 
mee, and bids mee, drink Abundantly. 

Then, sales my Soul, / will take the Cup of Salvation, and 
call on the Name of tlie Lord. And immediately the Cup 
comes to mee. So, I consider thereupon, how my Interest 
in that inconceivable, comprehensive, everlasting Salvation 
is now confirmed unto mee forever. 

28 d. 10 m. This Day, our Church renewed their Vote 
for the Continuance of my pubUc Labours among them; 
adding that it should bee in order to my Settlement among 
them as their Pastor. 

And afterwards, voted mee a Salary of 70 lb. Annum. 

gd. II w. [Jamiary, 1681-82.] I sett apart this Day to 
humble myself before the Lord for my exceeding Sinfulness; 
and implore His favour in two Respects; first, the Freedome 
of my Speech, which from some Difficulties upon it, was 
become a matter of more than ordinary Thoughtfulness 
imto me; and, secondly, the Guidance of all concerns between 
our Church and myself. 

The Lord raised my Soul this Day unto some very 
singular Entertainments of Devotions; and I will record 
especially two or three of the Addresses which I now made 
imto Him. 

One Address was in Words to this purpose. 

"Oh! Holy Lord God! I am altogether vile: and tho' I 
have been endeavouring to enumerate some of my Rebel- 
lions against Thee, I can do nothing at it; my Spirit is 
overwhelmed within mee, because I see innumerable Evils 
compass mee about, and my Sins are more than the Hairs of 
my Head. Now, O Lord God, is there any Hope of Mercy, 
for such a Sinner as I am? It will bee a Wonder indeed, if 
there bee! But there is, Lord, there is. Thy own mouth 

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48 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

has told mee, There is Forgiveness with thee, that thou mayst 
bee feared: And, Thou delightest in mercy, and therefore par- 
donest Iniquity. Thy Call is, lett the Wicked forsake his Way, 
and return to the Lord, and thou unit abundantly pardon. O 
blessed Words! O glorious Newes! Behold then, I desire 
to return unto thee. But in what way am I to return? 
Lord, I am to return in a way of Repenting. 

" Wherefore, my God, I now turn from all my Idols. I 
turn from them, with Sorrow. I am grieved, I am grieved, 
at my very Heart, for my displeasing of Thy Majesty, imto 
whom I have had infinite Reason to give my Love, my Life 
and all that I am or have. I turn from them with Hatred. 
I abhor aU my Lusts. I renounce, I reject with Detestation, 
all that hath stood in Competition with thy Blessed Self, 
within my Soul. ' And, O my God, I turn to Thyself. Who 
would not so do? I come unto Thee, Thou art the Lord my 
God. I take Thee for my best Good; Vouchsafe mee Thy- 
self, and I shall bee contented, tho' thou deny mee ever}- 
Thing else. Lett mee bee able to say, the Lord is my Por- 
tion, and then I shall also say, the Lines are fallen to mee in 
pleasant Places. And, I take Thee for my Ic^st End. Nothing, 
no, nothing else, is worthy of my Aim, and my Heart. 
Self is not so, World is not so, Satan is not so. Whom have 
I in Heaven but Thcc ? There is none on Earth, that I desire 
or design, in Comparison of Thee. But, Lord I am to return, 
in a Way of beleeving also. Oh! I do it most heartily, 
readily! Thou offerest Thy dear, sweet, heavenly Son, the 
Lord Jesus Christ, unto my Soul. O my God, I accept 
of Him. Thou tenderest, His Blood unto mee. Lord, I 
receive it, with both Hands, with all my Heart. Alas, all 
my own Righteousnesses are Filthincsscs. But oh! Lett the 
Obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ, bee the Satisfaction for 
all my Sins against Thee ; and lett that Satisfaction bee the 
Conduit-Pipe thro' which, all the good, that ever I enjoy 
from thy Hands, may come swimming down. And thou 

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JANUARY, 1681-82 49 

commandest mee to rely upon Him, for Strength, in order to 
my doing all that I have to do, for thy Glory. Oh! To Him 
I go, that Hee would undertake the Cure of my miserable 
Soul. May the Lord Jesus Christ; strengthen mee, instruct 
mee, defend mee, and govern mee forever! And, now, I 
know, I shall bee saved. Thou wilt bee my God, and my 
Friend; and I shall in the highest Heaven celebrate thy 
Grace with eternal Hallelujahs!" 

Afterwards, I made another Address, that the Impedi- 
ment of my Utterance, which threatned such a Return upon 
mee as to render mee imserviceable, might bee removed. 
And this in such Terms as these. (As near as I can well 
recollect them.) 

"Most Gracious Lord, God; Thou Fountain of all Good! 
Help mee, I pray thee, to present the Desires of my Soul 
before thee, concerning that free Speech, which thou knowest 
is needful, and would bee useful, for mee. What Measure 
thereof I would have, I do not praesume to define; but I 
leave it, O Lord, unto Thy infinite and excellent Wisdome. 
But, oh ! deny not unto mee what may bee good for mee ! 
I must indeed, begin my Supplications, Lord, with my 
hearty and humble Confession, that I am every way un- 
worthy of this Mercy. If I had walked never so exactly 
before Thee, yet could I have merited Nothing. But, Lord, 
I have sinned horribly; and by my early Wickedness and 
Filthiness, I have provoked Thee, to take away from mee 
one of the greatest Conveniencies, enjoyed by thy reason- 
able Creatures. I must lay my Hand upon my Mouth, and 
say, that tho' thy Rod has been very heavy in this regard 
upon mee, yett thou hast punished mee farr less than my 
Iniquities have deserved. Lord, I deserve, not only a Stam- 
mering, Slowness, but also a total Dumbness in my Speech; 
yea to bee sent, where I should not have a Drop of Water to 
cool my Tongue. I have therefore no Argument, in this 
case, to plead, O Blessed Lord, but what shall bee found in 

I '4 

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50 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Thyself. And what shall I now say? In Thyself, O Lord, 
I see enough and enough. 

"Lord Art thou not a Good God? Yea, I am every way 
sure, that there are no Bounds of thy Goodness. Now, 
Lord, lett this thy admirable Goodness, mercifully pardon 
all the SiJis, which might Intercept the course of this thy 
Favour to mee. And oh ! lett not thy Goodness permit mee 
to ly under a dreadful Affliction, that shall prejudice my 
Services of Thyself, in the weighty Work, whereto thou hast 
called mee; lest the Spirit fail before Thee, and the Soid that 
Thou hast made! 

"And, Lord, Art thou not a Powerful God? Yea, I know, 
that great is my Lord, and of great Power. Oh! Thou that 
madest Man's Mouth, didst Thou not make the Mouth of the 
Stammering Moses to speak? Didst thou not open the Lips 
of Jeremiah, when hee pleaded, / cannot speak? Did not 
my Lord Jesus Christ cure a man that had an Impediment 
in his Speech? Oh I Lord, Oh! Lord, I am sensible, that one 
Touch, one Word of thine will releeve my Infirmitie. Oh! 
touch my Tongue: Say, EphpJtatha and my mouth will bee 
opened! That which Thou hast already done for mee, 
showes what thou art able to do. Oh ! Lett thy wonderful 
Works bee Seen ! 

"And, Lord, Art thou not a Faithful God? Yea, Thou 
airt faithful and tru^. And, Lord, shall I now say that Thou 
hast encouraged mee, in this also. I have heretofore found 
Thee marvellously proportioning my Speech to my Need: 
The Language of which was, Trv^t in mee, Fear not, I will 
never fail Thee. Hast thou not many a Time, created in mee 
a strong Perswasion, when I have been upon my Knees 
before Thee, that Thou liadst greater Supplies of Speech in 
store for mee, than I ever yett received? and shall this Per- 
swasion prove a Delusion? Farr be it? No, I had with 
it a frequent Earnest of this future Mercy. And what is 
thy Word? Hast thou not expressly said, the Tongue of the 

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JANUARY, 1681-82 51 

Stammerer shall speak plainly? Lord, I lay hold upon that 
Word. Hast thou not said unto my Faith, none of them who 
trust in Thee shall be desolate; and Thou wilt never forsake 
them that seek Thee? Oh! fulfil unto mee, those words of 
Thine. Thou wilt fulfil them! 

"But, Oh! my Lord, I have one Argument more, to 
bring which Thou wilt have regard unto. It is this: 
Lord, open Thou my Lips, and my Mouth shall show forth 
Thy Praise. Abundance of Praise will come to thy Name, 
if Thou grant mee my Request. Others that hear, will adore 
thy Attributes; and I shall myself do Service for Thee. 
What shall I say? Oh ! Lord God ; my Tongue is Thine. I 
have given it unto Thee. I have endeavoured a Uttle to 
improve it for Thee; and shall yett more do so. And, 
Lord, wilt thou lay unhappy Chains upon one of Thy 
Tongues? There are Multitudes in the World that never 
gave their Tongues unto Thee, who yett enjoy them, with- 
out any afflictive Restraint upon them. And wilt thou 
deny this to mee, who have otherwise desired, otherwise 
designed? Lord; I now know, that Thou hast heard mee. 
Oh! my God and Father: Tliou hast heard tlie Voice of my 
Supplications. I wUl now live unto Thee forever and ever. 
And I now conclude, with declaring, that I do not, I dare 
not, expect this Mercy, on the Account of any Thing that I 
perform, or purpose ; but I reckon it swimming down unto 
mee, in the Blood of the Sweetest Jesus; to whom I shall 
render everlasting Hallelujahs." 

Thus did my glorious Lord-Redeemer, make the Re- 
mainders of my Affliction in my Utterance an Occasion of 
my continual Addresses unto Him, with a manifold exercise 
of Grace. Tis possible, that Satan also, might make this 
an Occasion of daily Buffetings upon mee; albeit by careful 
Speaking, I all this while, was an uninterrupted Preacher, 
that found much Acceptance among the Churches of God. 

Why should I bee discouraged ? Moses complained that 

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52 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

the Infirmitie of his Utterance continued, after his Entrance 
upon his Ministry ! ' 

However, I received an Answer to the Prayers of this 
Day, in an immediate and perceptible Enlargement, unto 
the Liberty of my Speech. And as for Matters, in the 
Church, which I this Day also recommended unto the Lord, 
they went on very comfortably. 

22 d. II m. Lord's-Day. I will once more, give a Speci- 
men, of an Heart proceeding methodically, at the Table of 
the Lord. 

My Heart, this Day, thus proceeded. 

At the Administration of the Bread. 

"It is said, Joh. 2. ii. Jesus manifested forth His Glory 
and His Disciples beleeved on Him. 

"Here my Lord, is manifesting of His glory, His media- 
torial Glory. What remains, but that I beleeve on Him. 

"Am I willing so to do? 

" Yes; I have nothing against it. Lett mee receive 
Him, enjoy Him, depend on Him, in aU His OflBces forever. 

" Thou shall so; sales the Lord: Here I bring Thee, a Seal 
of it. So the Bread comes : taking whereof, I consider, that 
the Lord Jesus Christ is mine, and I shall bee saved by Him. 
At the Administration of the Cup. 

"May not the greatest Sinners, have an Interest in the 
Salvation, whereof the Lord Jesus Christ is the Author? 

" Yes. 

"But what must I do, that I may have so! 

"I must return to God, in and b)- the Lord Jesus Christ; 
and then all that Salvation is mine forever. 

"Am I willing, so to do? 

" Yes; I am willing. 

" Then saies the Lord, the Salvation is thine: I seal it 
unto thee. So the Cup comes; and I spend the Rest of the 
Time, in rejoicing upon this Assurance." 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. 

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JANUARY, l68l-82 53 

6 d. 12 tn. The Church of Newhaven renewed their 
Addresses unto poor, vile mee to become their Pastor; but 
this Day, I wrote unto them, the Indisposition which I had, 
imto the Thing which they desired. 

My Reason was, because the Church of North Boston 
would have entertained uncomfortable Dissatisfactions at 
my Father, if after so many importunate Votes of theirs, 
for my Settlement here, hee had any way permitted my 
Removal from them.' 

What Repentance will do? The same that you read, 
Prov. 30. 20. But more effectually, more commendably. 
David in his younger years was taken in Adultery; in his 
old Age was found abed with a Virgin. 

Haec est virtus Christi Domini; ut quamvis peccator sit, 
qui ejus unda ablutus fuerit, denuo in virginem reparetur, 
fitque Virgo Fide Christi, qui fuerit Adulter corruptione 
peccati. 

' He remained an assbtant until January 8, 1682-83, when the North Church 
chose him for its Pastor, but was not ordained until May, 1684. 



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1682-83 

THE XXIsT YEAR OF MY AGE 

Horae plusquam Amoenae, nunquam rediturae.* 
12 d. 12 m. [Febrtiary], 1682-83. I am this Day twenty 

Yeare old. But alas, how Uttle have I done, for the Glory 

of God aU this WhUe! 

I would this Day resolve, especially two Things. 

I. To bee more diligent in searching of the Scriptures. 

II. To bee more Concerned, for the Welfare of the 
Church whereto I am related. 

igd. 12 m. A Purpose. There are some Gentlemen, 
and Merchants, in whom the Good God, hath given mee 
an Interest; and shall I not improve that Interest? 

I may do well, to engage them, in Agreements, together, 
to single out some godly, but needy Ministers in the Coun- 
trey, for the Objects of their Charity; unto whom their 
Bounty may so expresse itself, that God ma>- bee glorified 
and they themselves gloriously rewarded. 

4 d. 1 m. [March.] 1682-83. Lord's-Day. Hearing my 
Father preach a Sermon, upon the Eighth Commandment, 
I considered, that I have in m}- study, two or three small 
Books, which I borrowed of my Schoolfellow, when wee 
were at School together, and the Promise, to return them 
when hee should call for them. He afterwards left off 
Learning, and went out of the Count rc}-, but I still have 
the Books: I resolve to lay out, however ten times the 
Value of them in good Books to give away; not knowing 
how else to ha\c Peace in my own mind. 

' "More than delightful hours, never to return." 
[S4l 

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. MARCH, 1682-83 55 

i2d.im. Purposes. It will bee for the Glory of God, 
that I should observe, the following 

Rules of Speech. 
Oh! Lord God, in Jesus Christ, help mee! 

I. Lett mee in a solemn Way, give my Speech up unto 
God, as a Faculty to be everlastingly improved for Him. 

II. Lett my future Care, in and of my Words, declare 
the Sinceritie of such a Dedication. 

And therefore, lett mee seek Rules of right Speaking. 

1. By praying daily to God, Lord, lett my Mouth show 
forth thy Praise. 

2. By Reading, both of exemplary Men, and of profit- 
able Books, which may teach mee, the Government of the 
Tongue. 

Lett mee then use the Rules which I have sought, espe- 
cially 

1. By being a Person of but/ew Words. 

2. By being deliberate in the Motions of my Tongue and 
Lip. 

3. By avoiding all Expressions, which I apprehend will 
trespass on the Commandments of God. 

4. By rarely coming into Company, without seeking of 
useful Discourse in the Company. 

In so doing, the Tongue of the Stammerer shall speak 
plainly. 

26 d. I m. A PtTRPOSE. I have, by happy Experience, 
been convinced what good may bee done, by Visits relig- 
iously performed. 

I wotdd, as soon, as is convenient, sett apart one After- 
noon, every Week, to visit all the Families, in our Neigh- 
bourhood; and therein essay, as handsomely as I can, to 
bring Persons of all Ages and Sexes, unto an Acquaintance 
with God. 

30 d. I m. In Prayer, the Lord filled mee, with Faith 
and Joy, when I considered that admirable Clause in the 
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56 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

new Covenant, / udll not turn away from them to do them 
good; and when I professed unto the Lord, that since the 
Covenant, and all the inestimable Blessings of it, were 
offered unto my Acceptance, I did humbly lay hold thereon; 
And I desired, not only an Interest, in all that Salvation, 
which the Covenant proposed, and above all, that highest 
Blessedness, of being made like to God and Jesus Christ; 
but also I consented that Jesus Christ, the Surety of the 
Covenant, should bee the Way, in which all Mercy should 
bee communicated unto mee. 

16 d. 2 m. [April?[ Purposes. The Lord hath graciously 
given mee to see, that I have but one Thing to do in the 
World, and that is, to become acquainted vsith Him, so 
as to bee continually acting of Grace upon Him. 

The greater my Attainments in this kind, are, the more 
Glory shall I bring to my Blessed Maker and Master. 
Wherefore, hereunto, I press on. 

1. Lett mee bee abundant in secret Prayers. 

2. Lett mee carefully read some excellent Books, which 
my Saviour, in His infinite Faithfulness, has bestowed upon 
mee. 

And among the rest, Howes Blessedness of the Right- 
eous.' 

In the whole former part of this Year there occurr'd 
little Remarkable, concerning the Experiences of my 
Ufe. 
Wherefore, but little is Recorded. 

5 (f. 3 ?». [A/ay.] Upon many Calls thereunto I spent 
this Day in secret Prayer with Fasting, before the Lord. 

And I will, to give one instructive Instance, unto my 
few Friends, with whom I lea\'e these papers, particularly 
recite the Method of my Proceedings, from the Beginning, 
to the Conclusion, of the Day. 

'John Howe (1630-1705), domestic chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. His 
Treatise on the Blessedness of the Righteous was printed in 1668. 

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MAY, 1683 57 

1. I Began the Day, with expressing before the Lord, 
my Beleef, of His being a Rewarder of them which diligently 
seek Him, and my Request, that Hee would now strengthen 
mee to seek Him. 

2. I then read the Chapters of the Bible, which occurred 
unto mee, in my Course of Reading; and those Chapters, 
I largely turned into Prayers, before the Lord. 

3. Afterwards, I essayed in Meditation, to affect my 
own Heart, with a Sense of the manifold Vileness where- 
with I have provoked God: My old Sins, and my late 
Sins; especially my woful Unfruitfulness, under my mar- 
vellous Enjoyments, Priviledges and Advantages. 

AU which, I then confessed, and bewayled, upon my 
Knees, before God. 

4. This done; I sang unto the Lord, that Hymn of 
Barton's, which is called. Confession of 5w.' 

5. Hereupon, I spent some Time in pondering of a 
profitable and a seasonable Question; and then in forming 
of some occasional Reflections. 

6. I then went again unto my Supplications; wherein I 
considered, that after all my Vileness, the Lord is willing 
to deal with mee, in the way of the Covenant of Grace; and 
for that End, offered imto mee such a Surety and a Saviour, 
as the Blessed Jesus. Wherefore, I now stirr'd up myself, 
to take hold of Him, earnestly putting my Soul, into the 
Hands of the Mediator, and crying to Him that Hee would 
convey unto mee, not only Pardon of Sin, but also Power 
against it, and make mee an happy Subject of all His 
redeeming Works. 

7. Now, I sang imto the Lord, that Hynm in Barton's 
which is entitled. Humble Confessions and Supplications. 
And I sett myself, by further Meditation, to establish 

' William Barton (iS98?-i678), hymnologist, whose verse translation of the 
Psalms was first published in 1644, and ran through many editions in the Ufe- 
time of the author, and with many alterations of text. He complained of editions 
printed by stealth, but in large numbers, both in England and in Holland. 

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58 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

myself, in the use of such Rules of Speech, as might render 
mee, a perfect Man. 

8. From which, I betook myself imto Prayer. And my 
Prayer now was, especially for such a Door of Utterance, as 
from Time to Time in my Ministry I might have occasion 
for. Jffi" And I had a full Assurance, that I was heard in 
this Petition. 

9. I then sang Part of the 51st Psalm. 

And so proceeded unto another Prayer, wherein I pre- 
sented before the Lord, the Desire of Solomon for Wisdome; 
and for the Presence of God with mee, in all the Concerns 
of my Ministry. 

10. Which being finished, I sang Part of the 103d. 
Psalm. And then I examined myself by the signs of a 
State of Nature, and a State of Grace, given in Mr X. Vin- 
cents, True Touchstone ; ' and found Joyful cause to hope. 

11. In the next Place, I made another Prayer; to recom- 
mend unto the Blessing of God, my particular Friends, and 
all His people. 

12. So I went unto a Meeting of Christians, that were 
praeparing for the Communion tomorrow and pray'd and 
preach' d with them. 

13. Leaving them I visited a sick Neighbour and pray'd 
with him. 

14. And last of all, I shutt up the Day, renoimcing 
all Apprehension of Merit, in my own Duties, and relying 
upon the Lord Jesus Christ alone, for Acceptance and 
Salvation. 

1 2 rf. 3 m. This Evening, I had much Satisfaction of 
Mind in contriving what noble Allainmenls, I should bee 
continually pursuing of. And while I was lying on my 

' Nathaniel Vincent (i63Q?-i697), an ejected minister. The True Touch- 
stone was printed in i68i. "Mr. Vincent," wrote Samuel Baker to Increase 
Mather in January, 1682-83, " '^ London minister, convicted on the 35th of Eliz; 
lies a prisoner his 3 months, then must leave the king's dominions or suffer death." 
4 Collections, viil. 511. 

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MAY, I 6 83 59 

Couch, in the Dark of the Evening, I extempore composed 
the following Hymn, which I then sang imto the Lord. 

High Attainments. 

Lord, what shall I return unto Him, from Whom all my mercies 
flow? 

(I) To mee to live, it Christ shall bee. 

For AU I do, I'l do for Thee. 
(II) My Quastion shall bee oft beside. 

How thou mayst most bee glorified/ 
(m) I will not any creature love, 

But in the Love of Thee above. 
(IV) Thy Will I shall embrace for mine, 

And every Management of Time 

Shall please mee (V.) A Conformity 

To Thee, shall bee my Aim and Eye. 
(VI) Ejactilalions shall ascend, 

Not seldome from mee. (VII.) I'l attend 

Occasional Reflections, and 

Turn all to Gold that comes to hand. 
(VII)' And in particular, among 

My Cares, I'll try to make my Tongue, 

A Tree of Life; by speaking all 

As bee accountable who seall. 
(IX) But last, yea, first, of all I will 

Thy Son my Surety make, and still 

Implore Him, that Hee would mee bless 

With Strength, as well as Righteousness. 

I designed rather Pietie, than Poetrie, in these Lines. 
But being truly, and briefly, expressive, of the Desires, 
working in my Soul, I afterwards wrote the following 
Explications of them. 

Notes. 

I. That I may press after the apostolical Excellency. 

To mee to live is Christ, I would endeavour to dedicate 
every Day of my Life unto God, yea, to dedicate each 

' Error for VIII. 

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6o DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Action of every Day, as far as I can, unto the Honour of 
God. In the Morning I would Uft up my Heart, unto 
Him, who knowes my Thoughts afar of, saying this Day shall 
be spent in the Acknowledgments of God. And, as far as I can, 
to each new Improvement of myself, natural, civil, and relig- 
ious, I would putt such a Preface as that, Thy Glory is in 
this aimed at, God ! In aU which, I would have a special 
Respect unto the Magnifying of that Mediator, whose redeem- 
ing Works, wUl come to bee considered, in my Obedience. 

2. Besides the welcome Entertainment which I would 
give, all the Day long, unto Methods that may occur for my 
Serving of God, I would for the most part, every Week, 
sett apart a Time, to consider, what is there that I may 
do for God. First, in my own Heart and Life, and then 
in every Relation instanced by mee! And reserve many 
written Memorials, of my Conclusions and Contrivances. 

3. I must look to it, that I love Creatures, under what- 
soever endearing Circumstances they court my Affections, 
with a Love, not only less than my Love to God, but also, on 
the Score, and for the Sake of my Love to God; whose Beauty 
or Image resting thereon, with an Advantage thereby putt 
into my Hands for the glorifying of Him, shall bee the 
Reason, of my Love thereimto. Since, Non amat te, qui 
quid amat Ic, prater tc, quod turn amut propter te. And one 
manifestation hereof, shall be my Jacob-\\ke, paying to the 
divine Majesty, such a Rent of my possessions, as the Tithes 
of all my Income, whether in Salary, or in Donation. 

4. I am to resign all my Concerns unto Him, without 
whom not a lillle Bird falls unto the Ground. And I would 
so own His Hatul ordering and managing all that betides 
mee, as that I would rest contented therewithal, in a Con- 
fidence that it is a Dispensation of Him, who is both a 
wise Friend and my best Friend; and whose Cravings for 
mee, are infinitely better than any Cravings of my own. 
This is to issue in my having no will opposed unto His. 

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MAY, 1683 61 

S- My highest Acquisition, I will reckon to bee, a Like- 
ness unto God. To love that which God loves, and hate 
that which God hates; to bee holy as God is holy, and like 
Him, a great For giver; and bee His Child, as much as may bee 
like the jtist at the Resurrection from the Dead. This will 
I seek, as the noblest Crown, that ever I can wear; and 
that which the Thorns placed upon the Temples of the 
greatest earthly Monarchs, were never worthy to bee 
compared with. O That I may bee conformable unto 
the communicable Attributes of God, and agreeable unto his 
Incommunicable. 

6. Every Day, and at such Minutes, as I have not Lib- 
erty to make my more sett Visits unto the God of Heaven, 
I would then ty my Desires imto the Arrowcs of cjacidatory 
Prayers, and so shoot them over the Heads of aU Interrup- 
tions. 

Every Opportunitie, to speak well of Him that redeems 
mee from all Adversitie I would have, not pass mee, without 
a Lord, I thank tJiee. When I read or hear, anything of 
Importance, I would add a pertinent Scdley of Soul to Heaven 
upon it. I would never answer a weighty Quastion, with- 
out such a silent Petition to God, for Direction in it. Yea, 
As I walk in the Street, or sitt in the House, tho' I will not 
bee so Pharisaical as to show it, yett I will use frequently 
to lift up a cry unto God, for some suitable Blessing, to bee 
vouchsafed unto the Persons that I have before mee, not 
knowing, but that Thousands of Men, Women, and Chil- 
dren may fare the better for mee; however I shall myself 
have the Comfort of exercising this Christlike Disposition, 
of an universal Charitie to Mankind, and my Prayers will 
return into my own Bosom. Oh! Blessed the man that 
hath his Quiver filled with such Arrowes. 

7. The World, is filled with loud and plain Preachers, 
whose Instructions, it shall bee no lesse a Pleasure, than a 
Profit for mee, to yeeld Attention unto. And especially. 

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62 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

the little Parcels, Fragments, and Intervals of Time, wherein 
the Generalitie of People, do suffer their minds to ly like the 
Field of the Sluggard, overgrown with Weeds, I would have 
to bee so well-husbanded by mee, as that at aU Places 
of Diversion, I would be at my spiritual Alchymie. The 
candid Lessons, thus received, shall not bee dismissed with- 
out a gainful Ejactdalion, unto the God of all Grace. 

8. It was the Resolution of the Psalmist, whose Tongue 
was his Glory, to take heed that hee sinned not with His Tongue. 
And it shall bee my Study to do this, which the Apostle 
pronounces the Praerogative of, a perfect Man. What 
Solomon ascribes to the Tongue of the Righteous, is to bee 
endeavoured by my Tongue; which, by uttering my Con- 
ceptions cautiously, moderately, deliberately, and by making 
all that come into my Company, the Partakers of some 
useftd Notion, shall discover mee, to bee under the Awe of 
that Admonition, of cocry idle Word shall an Account bee 
given. 

9. The former honest Purposes, are amiable, are neces- 
sary. But the Things are too great for mee, and I cannot 
do them myself alone. Wherefore my Dependence must bee 
upon the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Pardon of my Defects, 
and for a Supply of Grace that shall bee sufficient for mee. 
Unto Him will I, in the most explicit and importunate 
manner betake myself; and that still, forever; unto Him, 
as my Prophet, Priest, and King; with the Profession, In 
the Lord have I Righteousness and Strength. 

Surely, Hee that doeth these Things, shall never bee moved. 

14 d. 3 m. Purposes. I shall bee serviceable to God, in 
being serviceable to Man ; especially with Sord-Service. And 
how shall I better bee so ; than by fervent Prayers ? Where- 
fore I design, 

I. To take the Bills,' that are putt for Prayer or Praise, 

' A few of the original slips or bills sent to Mather have been preserved. " Ben- 
jamin Elton Bound to Sea Desires prayers for him, that God would Bless and 

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MAY, 1683 63 

in our Congregation, and afterwards present the particular 
Cases, there exhibited, before the Lord, in my Study, where 
I may more particularly implore the Grace of God, for each 
of them, than I did in the pubhc. 

2. To ask myself, before my evening Prayers in secret, 
Who has in the foregoing Day show'd mee any Kindness? 
and particularly supphcate the God of Heaven, that Hee 
would bestow spiritual and eternal Favours, on each of 
them that have so obHged mee. 

14 rf. 3 w. I am extremely defective in recording par- 
ticular Providences, that appear in the conduct of my 
Life. But indeed I am so shallow, that I carmot easi'y 
avoid the Fault of being, either negligent on one side, or 
superstitious on other. 

However, I will now mention one Uttle Thing of the 
same Kind, that I have seen many, in the Course of my 
Life; and it may bee, t'will do some Friend or other some 
good, that I should mention it. 

I was owner of a Watch, whereof I was very fond, for 
the Varietie of Motions in it. My Father was desirous of 
this Watch, and I, in a manner, gave it him, with such 
Thoughts, / owe him a great deal more than tJiis; and the 
Observation of the fifth Commandment, never wants a Recom- 
pense. Quickly after this, there came to mee a Gentle- 
woman, from whom I had no Reason to expect so much as 
a Visit, but in her Visit, shee to my surprise, pray'd mee to 
accept, as a present from her, a Watch; which, was indeed 
preferrible imto that which I had before parted with.' I 

prosper him and in Safety Retume him." "Anne Williams would Return thanks 
to God for Hire safe deliverance in child bead, and desires your prayers for Hir 
Absent Husband Abroad at see." "Thomas Diamond Returned from see Desirs 
to Returne thanks to God for his mercies to him." Sewall records in his Diary, I. 
68, "I put up a Note to pray for the Indians that Light might be communicated 
to them by the Candlestick, but my Note was with the latest, and so not pro- 
fessedly prayed for at all." 

' In February, 1893, the Society received as a gift from Mrs. Elizabeth Anna 
Byles Ellis, a watch which bad long been in the Mather family. It was made 

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64 DIARV OF COTTON MATHER 

resolved hereupon, to stirr up, Dutijulness unto Parents, in 
my Neighbours, more than ever; and redeem the Time, 
which I was helped thus to Measure. 

T,x d. 3 m. A Purpose. I have many Enjoyments. One 
way of improving them all, for the glory of God, will bee, 
by making them the Subjects of my occasional Reflections. 
They shall then afford mee Multitudes, hundreds, thousands 
of Lessons about the Kingdome of God. 

2,d. ^m. [June.] Lord's-Day. Intending to record no 
more of my sacramental Methods, I will distinctly at this 
Time recite the Workings of my Heart at the Table of the 
Lord. 

While the Bread was breaking, I considered, that the 
Lord Jesus Christ had given Himself. 

To whom? For whom? 

The Answer is made, mec; for the Sign and Seal thereof, 
is brought unto mee. 

But for what End? Even, that I may become very 
holy. 

Then I sett myself, to entertain such Considerations 
drawn from the Death of the Lord Jesus Christ, as might 
induce mee unto Holiness. And I look'd up unto Him, 
for the Communication of so great Salvation. 

While the Wine was filling, I considered. That the Lord 
Jesus Christ was crucified. 

On whose Behalf? 

On mine. For so I hear the voice here uttered. Shed 
for you. 

I then resolved, that I would crucify all the Lusts of 
the Flesh; inasmuch as either they had killed the Lord 
Jesus Christ, or else they would kill mee. 

This Work I now began, b>' doing unto my Lusts, as 
the Jcwes did unto the Lord Jesus Christ. They enquired, 

by D. Quare, London, and bears the numbrr 807. On the case of the works 
has been scratched the year lyi:, probably the date of a repair. With it are 
two silver seals. 

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JUNE, 1683 65 

who and where Hee was? and I said, Lord, make mee to 
know my Transgression and my Sin. 

They brought Him then before the Rulers. And I pre- 
sented my Corruptions before God. 

They soUidted, that Hee might bee slain, as worthy of 
Death. And I professed unto the Lord, that for innimierable 
Reasons, I thought my Iniquities worthy to dy, and I be- 
sought the Lord now to destroy those Enemies in my Heart, 
that would not have Him to reign over mee. 

And I purposed that I would hereafter bee as active 
in the Execution of these evil Liclinations as the Jewes 
were in the execution of my dearest Redeemer. 

1 1 d. 4 w. The first of my Father's Children that have 
Dyed and the Ninth of his Children, my Uttle Sister 
Katharine, dyed this Day.' 

When shee was opened, it was foimd, that the right Lobe 
of her Lungs was utterly wasted and not any thing but about 
three Quarters of a Pint of Quittor, in the room thereof. 

Shee was not a year old; and had lain sick, for four or 
five months. 

Purposes. I. There are brought unto my Hands, the 
Lives of many excellent Christians and Ministers; namely, 
Sam: Clarks last Volumes; where among the rest there is 
the Life of my Grandfather Mather.^ In reading hereof, I 
would particularly take notice of such passages as rendered 
other Persons excellent; and vigorously endeavour to follow 
them. 

n. There is an old Hawker, who will fill this Coimtrey 
with devout and useful Books, if I will direct him; I will 
therefore direct Him, and assist him, as far as I can, in 
doing so. 

' She was born September 14, 1683. 

• Samuel Clarke (1599-1683). 

"I faave seen Mr. Clark's late book, and am ill pleased with that abuse of 
my father's life. But it caimot now bee helped." Nathaniel Mather to Increase 
Mather, August 13, 1683. 4 Collections, vm. 50. 

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66 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

i8 J. 4OT. Purposes. I. I may do something for God 
in my Visits. And therefore, as an Effect of my constant 
and earnest Cares, to carry on holy Designs, in my occa- 
sional Diversions, I now think of one Rule, which I have 
not formerly so much observed; That I should, for my 
ordinary Farewel to my christian Friends, as my parting 
with them, contrive to commend unto them some suitable 
Text of Scripture, whereof they may think, when I am gone 
from them. 

II. I would endeavour to do much more for God, in 
my Studies. And therefore I would, if I can attain it, bee 
a more early Riser, for them. 

25 d. 4 m. The Lord sent mee a httle Book, of Mr 
Corbet's; entituled. Self -Employment.^ In the dose of which 
Book, I found some excellent Resolutions of his, from whence 
I singled out these that follow, for my more assiduous 
Meditation and Imitation. 

"In Arguing with another, watch against every inordinate Heat, 
loud Speaking, and every rash word. 

"If any Neglect, or Sleight thee, care not for it, yett observe it. 

" Any matter of Trial to thee, reckon among thy Gains. 

"Take no Delight of Sense, but in a manifest and direct Sub- 
serviency to spiritual Ends; and use not that Delight to irritate, but 
to allay Sensualitie. 

"When thou art in Company, where the Talk is but vain, watch 
to putt in a Word that may bee for Edification. 

"If any despise thee, do not bear a Grudge against him for it, 
and bee not offended with any, meerly because they do not honour 
Thee. 

"When thou art framing Excuses, take heed of speaking an Un- 
truth, or approaching too near it. Lest in avoiding the offence of 
Man, thou make too bold with God. Take heed of this also, when 
thou wouldst speak pleasingly. 

"Use no Recreation, or Delight of Sense, but what thou canst, 
at the very Time, desire of God, may bee sanctified, unto spiritual 
Ends. 

'John Corbet (i6jo-i68o), an ejected minister. Self-Employmtni in Secret 
was issued in 1681, and passed through many editions. 

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JULY, 1683 67 

"When thou hearest, that another hath spoken any thing unto 
thine Injury, or Disparagement, beware of a Transport of Anger; that 
thou speak not harshly or unadvisedly against him; or too passion- 
ately for thyself; or, as too much concerned for thyself. 

"Uphold the Reputation of thy Collegue; or any that is joined 
with thee, in Service, as thou wouldst thiTie own. 

"Watch against all secret Pleasure, in the lessening of Another, 
for the advancing of Thyself. 

"When thou hast an Opportunitie of speaking a Word, for the 
Good of another's Soul, defer not the doing of it, until another Time. 

"Watch against all bitter, and over-passionate Speeches against 
malignant Opposers of the Truth. For Meekness of Spirit, and 
Behaviour is more according to Christ, than wrathful Zeal. 

"Bee not discomposed about some petty Absurdities of Behaviour, 
or Uttle Indecorums, or Oversights; for so to bee, is Pusillanimitie. 

"When thou hast conceived a Dislike of any Person, his Wayes, 
or Actions, or dost ill resent his Carriage towards thee, take heed 
thou do not take any secret Pleasure in the Foresight of Evil coming 
upon him, or in hearing or observing any such Folly of his, as tends 
to his Reproche, or Ruine, or notable Damage. 

"After thy public Ministrations, in prayer and preaching, bee 
not thoughtful, or much concerned, how Men like thy Performance, 
but bee concerned for this, how acceptable it is to God, and how 
effectual and successful, to holy and saving Ends. 

"Watch every Opportunitie, to putt in a savoury Word, for the 
Good of a Soul, with whom thou hast Occasion of Converse. 

"Bee as serious and hearty; in thy Prayers to God, for the Con- 
cerns of Others, as for thine Own. 

"Do not value other Men, according to their Esteem of thee; but 
according to their trtie Worth. 

"Watch against the Expectation of hearing thy own Praise; and 
when such a Thought arises, instantly suppress it. 

"Watch against all Eagerness and immoderate Delight, in eating 
and drinking; and against minding any kind of Food, for the Pleasing 
of the Sense. 

"By no means, lett Pride sett thee to study, or preach or pray, 
or carry thee on, in any Service." 

In such Things as these, my Soul, are thy Deficiencies; 

In such Things now, lett bee thy Excellencies. 

gd. sm. [Jttly.] About this Tintie, I sett myself, to 
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68 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

promote a pious and praying Meeting, among the young 
People, in the south part of Boston; for the Prevention of 
the Mischiefs arising from vain Company, and as a Nursery 
to the Church there. But the Matter did not obtain so 
far as I desired. 

It was afterwards obtained; when there were such 
Numbers of young Men from the South End of the Town, 
joined unto the Meeting at the North, as that I could make 
of them enough to constitute, a distinct Meeting. They 
did so, and at their first Setting up, I preach'd unto 
them.' 

i$d. sm. This Day, over-looking the Addresses of per- 
sons to join imto our Church, I foimd above thirty Seals 
of my Ministry in this Place, among these Papers. From 
whence I may form a probable Computation, of many scores, 
that have here and elsewhere been thereby helped in their 
Acquaintance with the Lord. Blessed be God. 

26 d. 5 m. This Evening, as I was walking where I had 
such a prospect of our Neighbourhood, as gave mee to see 
that God had cast my Lot, in a place exceedingly Populous, 
I found my Heart, after a more than ordinary Manner 
melted in Desires after the Conversion and Salvation of 
the Souls in this Place. ^ And my Soul, was afterwards 
exceedingly transported, in Prayers for such a Mercy. 

i&' Memorandum. Using of sacred Meditations (with 
mixed Supplications) at my waking Minutes, every Morning, 
in my Bed, and in this Course, going over many Portions 
of the Scriptures a Verse at a Time, the Thought of Isaac 
having his happy Consort brought unto him, when and 
where, hee was engag'd in his holy Medilatimis, came some- 
times into my Mind, and, I had sometimes a strange Per- 
swasion; that there would a Time come, when I should 

' Written in the margin. 

' The usual estimates of the population of Boston about 1684 give between 
four and five thousand inhabitants. 

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AUGUST, 1683 69 

have my Bed blessed with such a Consort given unto mee, 
as Isaac, the Servant of the Lord was favoured withal. 

In the Beginning of August, spending about a Fort- 
night, with my Father at Lyn, where wee both of us preached 
on two successive Sabbaths, I enjoy'd many happy Hours, 
in the coimtrey-Retirements of the Fields; and in some 
of those «®" Retirements, I received strong and strange 
Assurances, That the God of Heaven intended, not only to 
bless me, hut also to make mee a Blessing. 

27 d. 6 m. [August.] Considering my own many Sins 
and Wants and the many Sorrowes of the Church, I sett 
apart this, for, a Day of Prayer, with Fasting, in my study, 
before the Lord. 

I judged myself before God, for my horrible Transgres- 
sions of all Sorts; and on the Distresses of my Soul, behold- 
ing my Miseries, by my imavoidable Exposedness unto the 
Wrath of God; and my insuperable Estrangedness from the 
Fovmdation of all Good; but beleeving that the Mediator 
was yett wiUing to have Mercy on mee, after aU the Indig- 
nities which I had putt upon Him, if I now look'd unto 
Him, I earnestly besought Him, that Hee wotild graciously 
take the Care of all that concerned my Sahation; and 
rescue mee from all the Confusions which I had brought 
upon myself by my leaving of God; and bee my Prophet, 
Priest, and King forever. And I professed unto Him, that 
I left my uiomortal Spirit, in His blessed Hands, and that 
I wovdd expect every Part of my Welfare, as the Fruit of 
His blessed Satisfaction and Intercession ; and that I would 
submitt unto His glorious Dominion, Power and Wisdome, 
so as never wittingly and willingly to withdraw from the 
Regulations thereof; but I would fly unto His precious 
Blood, for Pardon, whenever I perceived any Deviation in 
myself. And I concluded with a triumphant Hope, that 
Hee would now delight in mee, to do mee Good; and that 
God would have no Controversie with mee; and that I 
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7© DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

should after a desireable Manner know Him, love Him, 
honour Him: that I should find my never-dying Soul to 
bee under the pecuUar Care, of a loving and faithful Re- 
deemer in the Times of the greatest Extremitie that should 
ever come upon mee. 

Hence forward, rejoice, my Soul, in thy Saviour. 

This Day, I also made a most expUcit Address unto the 
Lord Jesus Christ, as having all Keyes in His Hands, for 
my Speech, that I might have such continual and sufficient 
Supplies of it, as in my Mmistry I had Occasion for. I 
adored, I confessed. His infinite Might. I praised Him 
for His Mercy; I exceedingly bewayled the Sins of my 
Tongue. I declared, I asked for a Tongue only to serve 
Him, and bespeak the Loves and Lives of my Neighbours 
for Him; and I concluded, with a glorious Assurance, that 
the J®" Tongue of the Stammerer should speak Plainly; and 
whereas there are vUe Mortals, who have questioned His 
Deity, I should from an happy Experience testify, That 
verily Hee is GOD, and His Kingdome ruleth over all. 
Whereto I added, 

"Only, O Lord, thy Servant herewith, does vow unto 
Thee, that Hee Will endeavour to honour Thee, with His 
poor Speech, more than heretofore ; and labour after greater 
DeUberation, Gravity, Savouriness therein, than hee has 
yett attended or attained." Amen, Lord lett mee do so! 

But in the Close of this Day I formed certain Contriv- 
ances, about my Walk with God, which ha\ing in them some- 
thing of Curiosilie, I shall give a particular Account of them. 

I was desirous, not only to entertain Purposes of glori- 
fying my glorious Lord Jesus Christ, but also to honour 
Him with my Substance, particularly thro' my being thereby 
quickened unto Stedfastness in those Purposes. 

There now occurr'd unto mee, no way more ingenious, 
or ingenuous, than for mee to awe myself mto Faithfulness 
unto them, with Forfeits upon that. 

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AtrGUST,i683 71 

Such Penalties, I also saw, would lay mee under a neces- 
sitie to Do Good still, one Way or other. 

Herein I was very far from any vile Imagination, That 
I could buy of the Guilt of any Omission whatsoever; I 
knew, I own'd, that only the precious Blood of the Lamb 
of God, signified anything to do that. But I imagined, 
that for mee to make my Omissions more painful and costly 
unto my Flesh would bee to furnish myself, with effectual 
Monitors of my Duty. 

Wherefore, I now purposed, that if I did any Day omitt 
such or such Exercises of Religion, which I have hereto- 
fore prescribed imto myself, I vfouLd forfeit a certain Piece 
of Money, (besides and beyond my Tithes) to be given imto 
the Poor. 

These Usages, I continued for some while, until I found 
my Disposition unto such Methods of conversing with God, 
so strengthened, that I had not so much Need of using these 
Incitements any longer. 

Thus, I have sometimes laid a Penally, for some while 
upon myself, that if in joining with the Prayers of another, 
I did lett more than one entire Sentence pass mee at any 
Time without annexing some Ejaculation pertinent there- 
unto, I would forfeit a Piece of Money to bee given imto 
the Poor. And I foimd this Effect of it, that in a Week or 
two, I had little Occasion to lay my Penalty; for I found, 
my Distractions in my Duties, which had been my Plague, 
most wonderfully cured. 

Thus also, I have sometimes laid a Penalty upon myself, 
on a Lord's-Day, that if thro' the whole Day, I spoke one 
Word, which I could not judge proper to bee spoken on 
such a Day, I would, in like manner, forfeit. And I found 
myself marvellously strengthened by this Caution, in keep- 
ing the Lord's-Day at such a Rate, as was unto mee, a little- 
Praelibation of the rest remaining for the People of God. 

Moreover, because at this Time I kept a Diary of my 

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72 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

daily Actions, I now purposed, that I would note no Action 
in my Diary, except it had been praefaced or attended, with 
some such Motion of Soul as this. Oh, Lord this is that 
thou mayst bee glorified! or. Thy Glory is in this aimed at, 
Oh God! 

That I may but just exemplify the Watch which the 
Lord in those Dayes helped mee to keep over my Walk, 
I will here transcribe only the Actions of one Day, namely 
the first occurring in that part of the Diaries then written 
by mee. 

"2&d.6m. 1683. Legi Exod. 34, 35, 36, Oravi. Exa- 
minavi Adolescentes. Legi Cartesium. Legi Commen- 
tatores in Joh. 6. 37. Jentacul: Paravi Concionem. 
Orationi interfui Domesticae. Audivi pupiUos Recitantes. 
Legi Salmon pharmacop:* pransus simi. Visitavi plures 
Amicos. Legi \'aria. Paravi concionem. Audivi pupillos 
Recitantes. Meditat: On t/te exceeding Willingness of the 
Lord Jesus to Do good unto those that come unto Him; and, 
I resolve, 

"As to bee encouraged in my Addresses unto the Lord 
Jesus for His Mercy, from the Thoughts of His Mercifulness, 
thus also to endeavour that I may bee like unto Him in 
humble and ready Helpfulness unto others. Oravi. Cae- 
navi. Paravi concionem. Orationi Interfui Domesticae." 

Thus, I find my Diary, entering it may bee twenty 
Actions in a Day, which had been all of them expHcitly 
dedicated unto God. And I continued thus noting my 
Actions in my Diary, till my sinful, slothful Heart grew 
weary of it; besides, I afterward said t'was but Loss of 
Time, and a Thing of no worth or use, to keep such Records. 
Wherefore I left oflf writing of them. 

Nor may it bee thought, that I have every Day been so 

' William Salmon (1644-1713), a voluminous and somewhat notorious writer 
on medicine, who visited New England in his travels; but in what year has not 
been determined. His Pharmacopoeia Lotuiintnsis was probatly what Mather 
used. 

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SEPTEMBER, 1683 73 

watchftd; however the Free-grace of God helped mee not 
a Few.i 

I continued, indeed, a considerable while in that prac- 
tice.' 

When I did at last leave off recording the Actions every 
Day explicitly dedicated unto God, I added these words, 
in my Diary : 

"I perceive that for mee to note down all the Actions 
in the Day, which I have given up to God, is, however 
specious to bee attempted, yett not ecisy to bee performed, 
nor us^td when it is performed. Wherefore, 

"I shall with all possible Care uphold, yea, advance and 
augment, my own Diligence and Devotion. 

"And all my Services, to my Maker and Master, I desire 
may bee, as already the most of them have been, both 
canceled and forgotten, by every one except Him alone, who 
will not for gett my Labour of Love." 

My Diaries, wherein I had written the Course of my 
Study and preaching, and the Resolves of Piety upon my 
Daily course of Meditation, I have thrown, as useless Papers 
into the Fire.' 

10 d. 7 m. [September] Pxirposes. Yesterday I ear- 
nestly call'd upon my Hearers to putt this Qucestion some- 
times unto themselves. What is there, that I may do for the 
Name of God? And I must now myself answer that Qucestion. 

I. As a CHRISTIAN. I may glorify God, more than 
I do, by an exceeding Accuracy in my Walk with Him. To 
befriend this, I may do well to draw up several and punctual 
Quaestions, pursuant unto my three evening Interrogatories, 
the Review whereof, every Evening, may, more than a httle 
correct my Failings, and strengthen my Graces, and render 
mee a spiritually-minded Man. 

' Written in margin against the first paragraph. 

' A line struck out. 

* Not one of them seems to have escaped this destruction. 

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74 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

II. As a MINISTER. I may save myself and them 
that hear mee if having preached, first upon the Duty of 
Consideration, I single out suitable Subjects for the Matter 
of it; and handle those important Subjects, especially, the 
cheef End of Man, the Day of Judgment, the everlasting 
Punishment of the Wicked and, the Life eternal of the Right- 
eous; in my public Sermons. 

According to the former of these Purposes, I have 
methodized my nocturnal Recollections. 

Qujestions for the Evening. 

I. What hath been Gods Providence towards myself in 
the foregoing Day ? 

I. My Interiour. 2. My Exteriour. 3. My Friends 
about mee. 

II. What hath been my Behaviour towards God, in the 
foregoing Day ? 

1. Have I lived this Day, imder a deep Sense of Mor- 
talitie and Eternitic; and as a Stranger in tlie World? 

2. Have I devoutly read the Word of God, this Day; 
and seriously sought the Face of God; both in my Retire- 
ment, and with the Family? 

3. Have I had many Ejaculations this Day; both in a 
Way of Petition, and in a Way of Thanksgiving, unto God? 

4. Have I had most affectionate Meditations upon 
heavenly Things this Day; and have I made earthly Things 
to occasion some of my profitable Reflections? 

5. Have I been careful of my Discourse this day; and 
spoken with a Tongue bridled by the Fear of the Lord? 

6. Have I been diligent in my Calling this Day; and 
avoided all needless Expence of my precious and golden 
Minutes in Diversions? 

7. Have I this Day endeavoured all Usefulness, unto 
those to whom I am related, or with whom I have been 
concerned ? 

8. Have I this Day controlled and conquered my Master 

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SEPTEMBER, 1683 75 

Sin; and has my Watchfulness issued in my Victory over 
my own Iniquitie ? 

III. Am I in a fitt State and Frame, to dy this Night if 
called thereunto? 

1. Do I still choose the great God, as my best Good, and 
my last End? 

2. Do I still choose the Lord Jesus Christ, as my Prophet, 
my Priest, my King? 

3. Is it still my Desire to bee employ 'd as a Witness 
for His Truths and Wayes forever? 

Afterwards, that I might oblige myself, unto a conven- 
ient Pause on each of these Quaestions, I composed the 
following Hymn, to bee Sung in my evening Walk with 
due Deliberation.! 

Psd. 68. 19.' 
Blest bee the Great JEVOHAH who 
Doth mee with Daily Blessings Load 
Thou, with a Saviour, dost Bestow 
Salvations on mee, O my God! 

Psd. 139. 2, 3, 4.» 

To Thee my Wayes have all been known; 
Known all my Words have been to Thee: 
Thou know'st my Thoughts; My Faults I own; 
May all, thro' Christ, now pardon'd bee. 

PhU. I. 2i.< 

' To illustrate his method in thus paraphrasing the Psalms, the texts are 
added. 

'"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benePts, even the God 
of our salvation. Selah." 

' "Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising, thou understandest 
my thought afar off." 

"Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with 
all my ways." 

"For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it 
altogether." 

Comparison with the Bay Psalm Book does not indicate any features favor- 
able to Mather's verse. It was John Cotton's practice to sing psahns, though 
whether of his own paraphrasing the record does not show. 

* "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." 

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y6 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Thy CHRIST as now my Life; I fly 
To CHRIST with an enlivened Faith 
And now twill bee my Gain to dy 
To CHRIST fetcht by a sHngkss Death. 

II d. T m. This Day, I did, with unaccountable En- 
largements and Expansions of Heart, pray over my dear 
Friend, Mr. Avery, who after long unconquerable Illness, 
was apprehended now irrecoverably drawing very near his 
End. But in the very Time of my Prayer, the good Man, 
felt as it were a Load, or Cloud, beginrung to roll off his 
Spirits; and from that Instant, unto his own Admiration, 
hee began to recover; and came abroad shortly, unto the 
Glory of God. Oh! my Soul, why dost thou forgett such 
Benefits ! 

24 d. J m. A Purpose. I will quicken our Tithing- 
men,^ to revive their Inspections upon the celebration of 
the Sabbath, in our Neighbourhood. 

Much of Sin, will bee hereby prevented. 

gd. 8 m. [October.] This Day, I took up this RESO- 
LUTION. 

I will never hear or see, that any Person has wronged 
mee, or sleighted mee, but I will immediately, before Him 
that sees in Secret, pray for the Welfare of that person by 
Nam^. 

20 d. 8 m. The Apprehension of the marvellous Mercies 
wherewith I am, on every side surroimded, awakens mee, 
to sett apart this Day, for secret Thanksgi\dngs to the Lord. 

On this Day, besides other agreeable Devotions, I sett 
myself to read over all the Mercies of God, which I have 
recorded, in my former Papers, with cjaculatory Pauses 
upon them all. 

I then meditated, on the spiritual Blessings, whereof the 
wonderful Grace of God, had made mee a Partaker. I saw, 

' Regular oflScers who preserved order in the meetinghouse during divine 
service and enforced attendance upon it. They exercised a general moral police 
in the town, and were elected by the town annually. See 3 Procetdings, xix. 175. 

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OCTOBER, 1683 77 

1. That the Lord Jesus Christ, had gone thro' the 
Work, and even the most humbUng and suffering Work, 
of a Mediator for mee. 

2. That the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, had wrought 
in mee such Works as these. 

1. Hee has made mee weary of my Distances from 
God: So that I behold a Vanitie in all other Objects, and 
I abhor every Liist that carries mee after them, and I cannot 
bear to think of being putt off with any Enjoyments of 
this World for my Portion. 

2. He has carried my Soul forth to the Choice of 
the right End, and of the right Way to reach that End. 
So that, 

1. My only, my earnest Wishes are, that I may 
glorify God; that I may have His Image imprinted on my 
Soul, and may show forth His Praise World without End. 
Besides this, I aspire not after other Happiness. 

2. My frequent Addresses are to the Adorable 
God-Man, that Hee would obtain for mee, and apply to 
mee, so great Salvation; and I resign myself up into His 
Hands, resolving to comply with the executions of all His 
Offices. 

For these Things I offered up my Thanks unto the 
Lord; longing to bee brought into the Land of Hallalujahs. 

I proceeded afterwards to consider some further Favours 
of God. E:g. 

1, My Improvement in the Ministry of the Gospel, after 
I have been the vilest Creature in the World. 

2. The many Advantages, which I have to countenance 
mee, in that Improvement. 

1. The miraculous Freedome of my Speech. 

2. A Library, exceeding any man's, in all this Land. 

3. A desireable Acceptance, among the People of God. 

4. An happy Success of my Labours, both public and 
private, upon Hundreds of Souls, 

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yS DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Which Things I also acknowledged unto the Praise of 
God. 

2 d. gm. [November.] I had newly been thinking, how 
all my Sufferings, might bee rendred, after a sort, Sufferings 
for God; and so have a Reward belonging thereunto: upon 
which, one of my Notions was, that I would so acknowledge 
the Hand of God, in all that befel mee, as to praise Him 
for it, rather than bee thereby discouraged in serving of Him. 

Within a few Minutes after this, I received Information, 
that a Gentleman having procured from England, a very 
valuable Seal, which it was his Intention to present unto 
mee, as a Token of his Love, it was unhappily lost, among 
other Goods in a great Fire, which the last Week raged 
among our Warehouses. 

Memorandum, Several Months after this, the Seal was 
found preserved from the Fire, and bestowed upon mee.' 

I thought myself, called now, by a little Trial, to exercise 
the Grace, which I had been pressing after; which the Lord 
helped mee to do, with Contentation, with Joy, with Life. 

And I pray'd herewithal, that by no Fire, neither the 
Fire of Lust here, nor the Fire of Hell hereafter, I might 
miss of the Promises, which the Blood of the Lord Jesus 
Christ hath sealed. 

i^d. ID m. [December.] This Day, I sett apart for secret 
Humiliation, with Fasting and Prayer before the Lord. 

My great Errand, was to beg Pardon for my Sin, and 
Power against it. 

I found, Satan buffeting of mee, with unclean Tanpta- 
timis; and used Fasting and Prayer, that the Kind might 
bee cast out. 

Besides my other, and usual Devotions, for such Day, 
I did this Day write, after this manner. 

That I may pluck out my rigid Ey, and cutt of my 
right Hand, these are My Purposes. 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. 

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JANUARY, 1683-84 79 

1. To putt this Petition, into almost every Secret and 
Settled Prayer, Lord keep mee from mine Iniquitie. 

2. To not only read all that I can meet withal, which 
may render my Sin odious, but also to write Something 
that may have the same Tendency. 

3. If my Sin do still rage, I will spend a Day in Fasting 
and Prayer, ever[y] Fortnight, imtil I bee a Conqueror. 

4. Never, never, never, will I lay aside my combate, 
against my Temptations, or Corruptions. 

Now, Oh! Blessed Saviour; Save mee from the horrible 
Pitt; Let mee perform what I resolve, and bee accepted, 
and succeeded, in what I perform! 

12 d. II w. [January.] The sorrowful and horrible Vex- 
ation, given mee, by such Temptations of the Divel, as 
these that I have already mentioned, again drove mee this 
Day, to Prayer with Fasting, in secret Places before the 
Lord. 

I cried unto God, that for the Sake of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, the Pollutions of my Soul, might bee pardoned, and 
that I might have the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, pos- 
sessjfig of my Heart, and enabling mee to serve Him in 
Holiness, aU the Dayes of my Life. I pleaded with the 
Lord, that Hee did not use to deny those, who came unto 
Him, with such Requests for Grace! 

igd. II m. Having newly been acquainted, with a tre- 
mendous and an amazing Instance, of a Minister stricken 
in years, and eminent and remarked all the Countrey over, 
for a strict Profession of Holiness, who yett has lately fallen 
into those lascivious Violations of the Seventh Command- 
ment, which have given a most infamous Wound unto 
Religion; my Soul was thereby cast into exceeding Fears, 
lest I, who am a young Man, in my single Estate, should 
bee left by God, unto^ome Fall, whereby His Blessed Name 
would suflfer. And this the rather, because I have many 
Wayes grieved the good Spirit of God; and I am strongly 
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80 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

haunted by the evil Spirit, with Temptations, that horribly 
vex my very Soul within mee. For this Cause, I spent 
this Day, in the mortifying Exercises of a secret Fast, with 
Prayer, before the Lord. 

As also, that I might obtain a Deliverance for this poor 
Countrey; which is in extreme Danger of becoming a Prey 
to unreasonable Men, that have no Faith. 

I Likewise carried the wounded Minister, in my Prayers 
unto the Lord^ for all seasonable Mercies to bee vouchsafed 
him. 

23 d. II m. The young people of our Congregation, kept 
this as a Day of Thanksgiving, together; for the Success 
of the Gospel here; and for the Lives of my Father, and 
my wretched Self, who dispense it. 

The Lord helped mee to preach unto them almost three 
Hours (tho' I had Uttle more than one Hour's Time to prae- 
pare for it) on Act. 11, 21.' And a good Day it was! 

g d. 12 m. [February.] My extraordinary Occasion for 
Fasting and Praying still continuing, I did again sett apart 
this Day, to bee therein spent, secretly before the Lord! 

And indeed, little memorable attended mee, all the 
latter part of the year; except this, — that the Distempers 
of my Heart, enraged by the Temptations of a filthy Divel, 
drove mee to the macerating Exercises, of much, Prayer 
with Fasting before God. For, I exceedingly trembled, lest 
I should so grieve the Holy Spirit, as to bee left unto some- 
thing or other, whereby His glorious Name would bee dis- 
honoured; which was the Thing that I deprecated, above 
all the Plagues in the world. And I resolved, that I would 
never leave crying unto the Lord, until I had obtained from 
Him, the Grace to serve Him, with such Holiness, that so 
much as an ugly Thought, should not once dare to expect 
any Lodging in my Soul. 

• "And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, 
and turned unto the Lord." 

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FEBRUARY, 1683-84 81 

Only, I must here exceedingly bewayl it-; I over-did, in 
these Mortifications. I broke the sixth Commandment, I 
wasted my Strength, I wounded my Health, very sinfuUy, 
in the Excesses of my Devotions. I doubt, I have shortned 
my Dayes, by this Over-doing; I feel that I have thereby 
brought upon myself splenetic Maladies; yea, tis well, if 
I escape a Consumption. Perhaps, hoc Ithacus velit. This 
is that, at which the Divels aim, in their molestations. 

What! Axe my very Duties now, but Murders? Lord 
pardon mee, and pitty mee, for the sake of Jesus Christ. 

Mantissa.* 

Having somewhere in these Papers mentioned this, for 
one of my Methods to do good; "As I walk in the Street, 
or sitt in the House, tho' I will not bee so pJiarisaical as 
to show it, yett I wUl use frequently to lift up a Cry unto 
God, for some suitable Blessing to bee vouchsafed, unto the 
Persons that I have before mee:" I am willing to add a 
more particular Explanation of that passage, for the In- 
struction of those few Friends, with whom I may leave 
(if at all I leave!) these Memorials of my sinjid Conver- 
sation. 

It has been a frequent Thing with mee, to redeem the 
silent, and otherwise, thoughtless, Minutes of my Time, in 
shaping Thousands of ejaculatory Prayers for my Neigh- 
bours. And by reciting a Few of them, the Way of my 
shaping the Rest, may bee conjectured. 

At a Table, where, I being the youngest of the Company, 
it was not proper for mee to discourse at all, and the Dis- 
courses of others were too trivial, to bee worthy of my 
Attention. 

Casting my Eye upon, Ejaculations. 

The Gentlewoman that carved Lord, carve, of thy Graces and 
for us. Comforts, a rich portion, unto 

that Person. 

' That is, a lesser work, or supplement, following on a greater. 

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DIARY OP COTTON MATHER 



A Gentlewoman stricken in years. 



A Gentlewoman lately married. 



A Gentlewoman very beautiful. 

A Gentlewoman very gay in her 
Apparrel. 



One of our Magistrates. 



One of our Ministers. 



One unhappy in his Children. 



One crazy and sickly. 



A Physician. 



One that had mett with great 
Losses. 

A Servant, giving Attendance. 



Lord, adorn that Person, with 
the vertues which thou pre- 
scribest imto aged women, and 
prepare her for her approach- 
ing Dissolution. 

Lord, espouse and marry, the 
Soul of that Person to thy- 
self, in a Covenant never to 
be forgotten. 

Lord, beautify the Soul of that 
Person with thy Comeliness. 

Lord, give that Person an humble 
Mind, and lett her Mind bee 
most concern 'd for the Orna- 
ments, that are oj great Price 
in thy Sight. 

Lord, inspire that Person with Wis- 
dome. Courage, and Goodness, to 
seek the Welfare of His People. 

Lord, incline and assist that Per- 
son, to bee a faithful Steward 
in thy House. 

Lord, convert the Children of 
that Person, and lett him have 
the Joy to see them walking 
in thy Truth. 

Lord, lett the Sun of Righteous- 
ness arise to that Person, with 
Healing in His Wings; In the 
Lord, lett him have Righteous- 
ness and Strength. 

Lord, lett that Person bee suc- 
cessful in his Practice; and let 
him carry all the Distempers 
of his own Soul unto thee, as 
the Lord his Healer. 

Lord, give to that Person, the 
good Part, which canni)t bee 
taken away. 

Lord, make that Person, a Ser- 
vant of Jesus Christ. 



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FEBRUARY, 1683-84 



83 



In like Maimer, when I have been sitting in a Room 
full of People, at a Funeral, where they take not much 
Liberty for Talk, and where yett much Time is most 
unreasonably lost, I have usually sett my Witts a work, 
to contrive agreeable Benedictions, for each Person in the 
Company. 

In passing along the Street, 1 have sett myself to bless 
thousands of persons, who never knew that I did it; with 
secret Wishes, after this manner sent unto Heaven for 
them. 



Upon the Sight of 
A tall Man. 



A lame Man. 

A Negro. 

Children standing together. 

Children at Play. 

A Merchant. 

A Very little Man. 

A Man carrying a Burden. 

A Man on Horseback. 

Young People. 



Ejaculations. 

Lord, give that Man, High At- 
tainments in Christianity: lett 
him fear God, above many. 

Lord, help that Man, to walk 
uprightly. 

Lord, wash that poor Soul while 
in the Blood of thy Son. 

Lord, lett the blessing Bands of 
my Lord Jesus Christ, bee putt 
upon these Children. 

Lord, lett not these Children 
always forgett the Work, which 
they came into the World 
upon. 

Lord, make that man a wise 
Merchant. 

Lord, bestow grecU Blessings upon 
that Man, and above all, thy 
Christ, the greatest of Blessings. 

Lord, help this Man, to carry a 
burdened Soul, unto his Lord- 
Redeemer. 

Lord, thy Creatures do serve that 
man; help him to serve his 
Maker. 

Lord, help these Persons to re- 
member their Creator in the 
Dayes of their Youth. 

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DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 



Young Gentlewomen. 



A Shop-keeper, busy in the Shop. 



A Man, who going by mee took 
no Notice of mee. 

One in mourning. 



A very old Man. 
One leaning on a Staff. 

One whom I know not: (and 
saw no other singular Circum- 
stance about him, to shape any 
Thoughts upon.) 

One who (as I had heard) had 
spoken very reproachfully and 
injuriously of mee. 



One that was reckon'd a very 
vficked Man. 



Lord, make 'em wise Virgins, as 

the polish' d Stones of thy 

Temple. 
Lord, lett not the World, cause 

that Person to neglect the one 

thing that is needful. 
Lord, help that Man, to take a 

due Notice of the Lord Jesus 

Christ, I pray thee. 
Lord, give to that Person, the 

Comforts, which thou hast 

promised for blessed Mourners. 
Lord, make this an old Disciple. 
Lord, teach this Person to lean on 

a Christ. 
Lord, lett this Person bee so 

known to, as to bee sav'd by, 

the Lord. 

Lord, bless and spare and save 
that Person, even as my own 
Soul. May that Person share 
with mee, in all the Salvations 
of the Lord. 

Lord, rescue that p)oor Man, 
from Satan, who leads him 
captive. 



It were endless, and it is now needless to exenaplify an 
hundreth part of the Ejaculations, which I find, a Person 
may, without any Loss of his Time or any Prejudice and 
Obstruction to any of his Afairs, thus refresh himself 
withal. 

Wherefore all that I now add, is, that I have imspeak- 
able Cause, to bless my Lord Jesus Christ, for teaching 
mee, by His Holy Spirit, before I was twenty years of Age, 
these Methods of living unto His glory. 



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FEBRUARY, 1683-84 85 

Quo magis rios sani sumus, hoc magis libidinos[us] morbus 
insanet. Augtist.^ 

' Cotton Mather published an almanac for 1683, The Boston Ephemeris, 
copies of which are in the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

The Mathers were too active politicians at this time to escape being made 
a mark by their opponents. The letter purporting to have been written by Increase 
Mather, and addressed to Gouge, dated December 3, 1683, became known in 
England and in Boston at this time, and naturally attracted much attention. 
Mather indignantly denied that the letter was his, and on its face the letter from 
such a source would have been a blazing indiscretion. Whether Randolph him- 
self perpetrated the rather clumsy forgery, or inspired another to prepare it, 
can never be determined. The paper and the various opinions expressed of it 
will be found in 4 Collections, viii. 104, and references under Gouge in the index. 
Cotton Mather shared in the "persecution" of his father, and unduly exagger- 
ated his share by his usual methods of self-castigation not unmingled with 
much indirect self-laudation. 



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1684-85 

THE XXIIlD YEAR. 

Cum Relego, Scripsisse Pttdell 
Res Mirabilis et Memoranda. 

Post Fusas, maximis cum Ardoribus, lejuniisque Preces, 
apparuit Angelus, qui Vultum habuit solis instar Meridian 
micanlem. Caetera Humanum, at prorsus imberbem: Caput 
magnifica Tiara obvolutum; In Eumeris, Alas: Vesies 
deinceps Candidas et Splendidas; Togam nempe Tatar em: 
et Zonam circa Lumbos, orientalium cingalis non absimilem. 

Dixitque hie Angelus a Domino JESU, se missum ut 
Responsa cujusdam Juvenis precibus, articulatim afferat 
referatque. 

Quam plurima retulit Angelus, quae hie scribere non fas 
est. Verum inter alia Memoratu digna; Futurum hujusce 
Juvenis Fatum optime posse exprimi asseruit in illis 
Vatis Ezekielis verbis. Ezek. 31. 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9. 

Behold hee was a Cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, 
and with a shadowing Shrowd, and of an high Stature, and his 
Top was among the thick Boughs. The Waters made him 
great, the Deep sett him up on high, with her Rivers running 
about his Plants. His Heighth was exalted above all the 
Trees of the Field, and his Bouglis were multiplied, and his 
Branches became long, because of the Multitude of Waters, 
when hee shott forth. Thus was hcc fair in his Greatness in 
the Length of his Branches for his Root was by the great Waters. 
Nor was any Tree in the Garden of God like unto him in his 
Beauty. I have made him fair by the multitude of his Branches 

[86] 

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FEBRUARY, 1684-85 §7 

SO that all the Trees of Eden, that were in the Garden of God 
envied him.^ Atque particulariter clausulas de Ratnis ejus 
extendendis, exposuit hie Angelus, de Libris ab hoc Juvene 
componendis et non tantum in America, sed etiam in Europa, 
publicandis. Addiditque peculiares quasdam prcedictiones, 
et pro Tali ac Tanto peccatore, valde Mirabiles de Operilms 
Insignihus, quae pro Ecclesia Christi in Revolutionists jam 
Appropinquantibus, Hie Juvenis olim facturus est. 

Domine Jesu! Quid sibi vult haec Res tam extraordi- 
naria? A Diabolicis Illusionibus obsecro te, Servum Tuum 
Indignissimum, ut Liberes ac Defendas!' 

The XXIIId. Year of my Age. 

12 d. 12 m. [February.] 1684. HITHERTO, my God 
hath helped mee. 

This Day, I am twenty two years old. 

Humble mee, O Lord, that I have done so little for thee, 
all this while ! 

Oh! How much of my short Life is gone, most unaccount- 
ably! Lard, help mee now unto the Redeeming of Time, 

'Mather paraphrased this in "Enchantments encountred," prefixed to his 
Wonders of the Invisible World. 

*"A strange and memorable thing. After outpourings of prayer, with the 
utmost fervour and fasting, there appeared an Angel, whose face shone like the 
noonday sun. His features were those of a man, and beardless; his head was 
encircled by a splendid tiara; on his shoulders were wings; his garments were 
white and shining; his robe reached to his ankles; and about his loins was a belt 
not unlike the girdles of the peoples of the East. And this Angel said that he 
was sent by the Lord Jesus to bear a clear answer to the prayers of a certain youth, 
and to bear back his words in reply. Many things this Angel said which it is 
not fit to set down here. But among other things not to be forgotten he declared 
that the fate of this youth should be to find full expression for what in him was 
best : and this he said in the words of the prophet Ezekiel. . . . And in particular 
this Angel spoke of the influence his branches should have, and of the books this 
youth should write and publish, not only in America, but in Europe. And he 
added certain special prophecies of the great works this youth should do for the 
church of Christ in the revolutions that are now in hand. Lord Jesus! What is 
the meaning of this marvel? From the wiles of the Devil, I beseech thee, deliver 
and defend Thy most unworthy servant." Translation from Wendell, Cation 
Mather, 64. 

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88 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

and the Spending as much as I can, of it, in a perpetual 
Exercise of Grace! 

This Day, is the usual Day of the week, whereon I most 
particularly consider, how may I further glorify God? My 
DESIGNS, this Day were two. 

I. Lett mee, besides my usual Prayers, hereafter spend 
in large Supplications to God, for myself, and my Flock, 
and my Countrey, at least Half an Hour, between the 
Hours of Twelve and One, every Day of the week, except 
the fifth and the seventh. 

n. Lett mee spend the whole Afternoon, on the last 
Day of every Week, in peculiar Transactions, between the 
most High God, and my own Soul. Especially thus. 

1. Making three Prayers 

The first, as I begin other Afternoons, consisting of 
Praises unto God, for His Mercies unto mee, and my Re- 
quests on the behalf of others. 

The second, consisting of more signal Converses ^^ith 
God, in Renewals of Covenant, and Closures with the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and the Hke. 

The Third, consisting of Petitions, relating to the minis- 
terial Capacitie wherein I stand; and particularly the Ser- 
vices of the Day ensuing. 

2. Thinking on that QujEstion, What is there that I am 
further to do, for the Xante of God? 

3. Meditating on the Truths of God; and especially on 
such as I am to deliver on the morrow. 

4. Reading of Books and singing of Hymns wherein 
Grace may bee excited. 

14 (f. 12 m. Saturday. P. M. After, and amidst, the usual 
Devotions of this Time, I considered with myself, why do I 
bclccuc the Scriptures to he the Word of God? And having 
settled the Convictions thereof upon my Mind, I took into 
my Hands the Bible, whereof I ordinarily make use in my 
public Ministrations; and presenting myself with it, on my 

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MARCH, 1684-85 89 

knees before the Lord, I professed unto Him, that I did 
embrace the precious Book, as His Word; resolving ever there- 
fore to credit all the Revelations of it: that I would love it, 
prize it, converse with it, as His: that I would bee so aw'd 
by the Promises, and Threatenings and Histories of it, as to 
study a Conformitie unto the Precepts of it, while I have my 
Being. So, I blessed Him, for His Vouchsafing of this 
invaluable Word unto mee. 

16 d. 12 m. O my Soul! Is it not very bitter and vex- 
ing unto thee, to hear in the most venerable Company, for 
whole Hours together, Uttle but the idle Chat whereby Holes 
are pick'd in the Coats of other, and absent and honest 
Men? Lett mee alwayes withold my Countenance from 
such Conference, at least by my Silence at it. And lett mee 
alwayes, if it bee possible for mee, divert these Discourses 
into better Chaimels. 

Lord, make my Tongue, a Tree of Life! 

21 d. 12 m. Saturday. A Design. The Letters of some, 
have often turned, not only unto the present, but also 
the future Advantage of Men. How if I should now and 
then, sett apart a few Hours, to draw up a seasonable 
Epistle, for some or other, whose good, I may promote, by 
sending the same unto them. 

s@~This Afternoon, as I was crying importunately imto 
the God of Heaven, that Hee would bestow His Holy Spirit 
upon mee, yea, and this in a more than ordinary Maimer and 
Measure, I had a blessed Assurance that it will bee so. 

14 d. I m. [March.] 1685. Designs. It is in the Heart 
of diverse Ministers here, to address themselves, the next 
Week unto our General Court, with Proposals for the Refor- 
mation, and so the Deliverance, of the Land.' 

• A general reformation of the land had long been the object of endeavor on 
the part of the churches, due, in part, to a recognition that their influence with 
the people was lessening each year. To maintain their power in spiritual affairs 
had become difficult, and to restore their hold on the magistrates had become 
impossible. Hence the tendency to dwell upon the growing wickedness of the 

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QO DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Little can bee done by so little a person, as I am, in this 
matter. But three Things / may do. 

I. I may confer with my Father, as a sorry Remembrancer. 

II. I may excite the Christians, who are meeting pri- 
vately before then, to commend this matter in their earnest 
SuppHcations unto God. 

III. The Lecture-day, wherein the matter is to bee 
transacted, I may spend, a great part of it, in secret Prayers 
and Cries unto the God of Heaven, for the good Success 
of it. 

AH which Things, I did accordingly. And the Lord 
heard my Addresses ! 

23 d. I m. I spent this Day, in the Travails of a secret 
FAST, before the Lord: Wherein I obtained from Him, an 
Assurance of my Pardon, and of His Presence with mee, 
in my whole Ministry, and in my approaching Ordination. 

And I then made these Promises unto the Lord. 

I. That I will endeavour, to bee alwayes exemplary for 
my Chastitie. 

II. That I will daily endeavour to bee dehberate and 
considerate in my Speeches. 

III. That if the most High will vouchsafe to mee, an 
Opportunitie to build up His Church with an unblemished 
Reputation, I vnil endeavour to bee contented with what- 
soever Estate Hee shall order for mee in the World, tho' 
mean, tho' poor, tho' single, and tho' many wayes Afflicted. 

About this Time under some Exercises, the Workings 
of my Heart, were after this Manner. 

"Lord, whatever doth befal mee, this I am resolved on; 
"I will forever acknowledge that thou art righteous altcgelher, 
yea, that thou dost punish mee far less than my Iniguities do deserve. 
"I will also, unto my very utmost, bee dedicating myself unto 

towns, the drunkenness, swearing, excess of apparel and disregard of the church 
ordinances; and ihc interpretation placed upon any visitation, be it Indians, 
disease or fire, as an indication of divine displeasure. See John Westnaie to Increase 
Mather, in 4 CoUfctions, vill. 578. 

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MARCH, l68S 91 

thee continually, that I may bee thy Servant devoted unto thy Fear, 
forever. 

"Lord, if I might sufer, and Thy Name not bee dishonoured, I 
should give a Welcome, unto the bitterest Affliction, with thy Grace 
being sufficient for mee. But when I think, of having Thy Name 
reproched, the Dear Name, unto the Glory whereof I have a long 
While consecrated all that I have and am, and when I am appre- 
hensive of meeting with any Prejudice or Obstruction in serving of 
Thyself, here my Soul, full of Agonies and Anguishes cries out, Oh I 
left the Cup pass from mee I 

"I am willing to bee any Thing, that God will have mee to bee. 
Oh! how hath Hee broken my Heart, and ground it and pun'd it into 
Powder, before Him! How is the inflexible Slom tum'd into pliable 
Flesh I Yea, If Hee will have mee rejected, reproched, confounded, 
my Spirit will yett ly at His Holy Feet, without indecent Frettings, 
at His Dispensations! And if Hee will have mee to bee, for the Time 
to come, reckoned as unsavoury Salt, I shall endeavour to kiss His 
Rod, and say, Calcate, me insipidum salem, calcate me I 

"Happy are those Chastisements, which awaken my Soul, unto 
a lively Converse, with the Holy one of Israel. I can from the Bottom 
of my Heart, praise God for my afflictive Exercises, and even take 
Pleasure in them, on this Account. 

"If it my Glory to bee conformed unto the Lord Jesus Christ, 
Oh! how ready should I bee, to give a cheerful Entertainment unto 
any Cross on the Score of its advancing this! But one Thing my Soul 
is exceeding earnest in; that my Crosses may not come on mee, as 
Punishments for my Errors and Evils. O lett the Satisfaction of the 
Lord Jesus Christ bee accepted for them. Any other way, lett mee bee 
broken to Peeces, and my Soul will yett magnify the Lord." 

28 d. I m. Saturday. I do not purpose, to record many 
more of the rare Experiences, which the Devotions of my 
Saturday-afternoons have brought imto mee. 

But this Afternoon, in prayer, a gracious God gave mee 
Assurance, that Hee had pardoned all my Sins, in and thro' 
the ever-lovely Lord Jesus Christ. 

Hereupon, by way of Gratitude unto Him whom I have 
cause to bless, with my whole Soul, for His forgiving all 
my Iniquities and Healing all my Diseases, I took up these 
Resolutions. 

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92 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

1. That I would bear a special and eternal Hatred, 
against all the Lusts of the Flesh; and I would, with all 
convenient Expedition, compose a Discourse to antidote 
others, against some of them. 

2. That I would labour after a very eminent Measure of 
Watchfulness over myself, in the Worship of God, with En- 
deavours after a spiritual Worship in my Approches to Him. 

3. That I would speedily give up myself imto God and 
Christ, with a written Covenant, whereto I will subscribe my 
Engagement, that I wUl bee the Lords.' 

Sd. 2 m. [April.] Lord's-Day.^ Our Congregation, hap- 
pening this .\f ternoon to bee thinner than ordinary, my Heart 
began to sink imder some foolish Discouragements here- 
upon. But I vanquished them, with such Thoughts as 
these. 

"Consider, O my Soul; How unworthy my Sins have rendered 
mee, of the least Acceptance among the People of God; and that if 
there were nothing else besides the Meanness which attends my Min- 
istrations, this were enough to cause in my Auditors, a Withdraw 
therefrom, unto the Assemblies where they may easily mend them- 
selves. 

"Consider likewise, how many Hundreds were my Auditors this 
Day, making a Congregation, which in Bulk exceeds all, except per- 
haps two or three, in the Land; and that many far more excellent 
persons than myself, would count themselves happy, if they might 
preach quietly to a Company one quarter so big. 

"Consider also, tis possible the Hearers that went from mee, 
found their Edification to bee promoted Elsewhere; and it is not im- 
possible, some of that Number that staid with mcc, did also reap some 
little Benefit. And then, bee glad, that the Church of God, is built 
per Alios, when that Nos non sumus Digni; but in the mean Time 

' See under May 4, in this year, p. 96, infra. 

'On this day "the brethren stayed in the mecting-housc and unanimously 
consented, that the thirteenth day of May should be the day for my son Cotton's 
ordination as their pastor; and that letters should be sent to the two churches in 
Boston, to Charlcstown, Cambridge, Roxbury, Dorchester, to desire them to 
send their messengers to give us the risht hand of fellowship; that Mr. [James] 
Allen and Mr. (Samuel) Willard should be desired to join with myself in imposing 
hands." From the records of the Second Church, in Ware, Two Discourses, 49. 

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APRIL, i68s 93 

triumph in it, as a most undeserved Favour of the Most High, that 
I may bee capable, of helping forward the Salvation of so much as 
one immortal Soul; and since I have heretofore had the Temptation 
of being flock'd after, lett mee now suspect, that I need a Rod, for 
some Irregularities of Spirit under it: but if a Wise Redeemer will 
now try mee another way, lett mee now humbly act the Graces that 
shall bee suitable thereunto, and especially bee careful to apprehend, 
that an affectation of displaying ones gifts before Throngs, is too often 
an abominably proud Fishing for popular Applause; but my Work 
in the Pulpitt, must bee, rather to acquit myself well, in the Discharge 
of the Duties inciunbent on mee there, before the AU-Seeing Eye of 
that Majesrie, who, to mee, shall bee Theatre enough. 
Satis mihi pauci Auditores, satis unus, satis ntdlus. 

2d. 2m. Things being represented unto mee, as if 
the extreme Cri ticahiess of the Tim e, with regard unto our 
public Affayrs,* had raised such a Di\'ersitie of Apprehen- 
sions in the Brethren of our Church, about the Conveniencie 
of my Ordination at this Time, that there was like to bee 
some Division thereby occasioned; I humbly besought of 
God, That if my Life were a real Prejudice unto His Interest, 
or a necessary Occasion of Strife and Sin, 11 ee would please 
to take mee out of the World. 

But the D esign of Sat an, to embarass the Concerns of 
my Settlement, were soon disappointed, by a most uniting 
Work of God upon the Spirits of the people. 

20 d. 2 m. K. James I I. being this Day, proclaimed in 
Bosto n, and ail people hereabouts ' generally attending the 
Solemnities of the Proclamation, I withdrew from the Noises 
of the World, and spent the Day in Humiliations, and 
Supplications, before the Lord: particularly to deprecate 
the Confusions with which the Protestant ReUgion and 
Interest, were threatned by the Accession of that Prince 
imto the Throne; especially in our own vmhappy Colony.' 

' The charter had been vacated and C olonel Percy Kii ke named as his Majesty's 
Lieutenant and Governor-General over the now royal province of Massachusetts, 
with ahn^ unrestricted auth ority. 

* Intelligence o^ tlie deatb of Charles II and the succession of James II reached 
Boston, by a ship from Newcastle, April 14. "News came to us as we were busy 

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94 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Two Persons visited mee, in the morning; one of whom 
related unto mee his own Purpose to spend this Day, as a 
Fast, without knowing what I had purposed. Hereupon I 
invited Ihem to join with mee, in the Devotions of the Day 
before mee; and they did so. 

In the Pauses between our several prayers, I preached 
unto my two Friends, three Sermons, each of them about 
an Hour long apiece, on a Text, which was the very first, 
that on the opening of my Bible, for a Subject of Medi- 
tation, came to sight; namely, Psal. 109. 19, 20.' which 
proved wonderfully suitable. 

In the close, wee made unto each other a Promise, that 
wee would, within a few Dayes at most, sett apart some 
Time, to bee spent in pondering that Quaestion, What 
Special Service shall wee do for the Lord Jesus Christ, in 
Case Hee deliver His people, Itere, (or in England) from the 
Distresses now upon them! And that wee will turn the 
Results of our Considerations into Engagements; whereof 
wee will keep written Memorials by us ! 

22d. 2 m. As I was walking and thinking, alone, retired 
into our Meeting-house this Day, my Soul was after an 
unusual Manner transported, in a Thought, that I did 
above all Things »@" desire to glorify God, and show forth 
His Vertues and His Praises forever; and, that I should 
bee sure, never to have this Happiness deny'd imto mee; 
and, that therefore now Nothing should ever make mee 
miserable. 

openiDg the Nominations just before Dinner; it much startled the Govemour 
[Simon Bradstrcet] and all of us." Two days later commands were received to 
proclaim the King. Scwall, Diary, i. 6q. See also page 70 in the same volume 
and Mass. Col. Rec., v. 474, for ceremonies attending the proclamation. The 
new King on his accession promised to " preserve this Government both in Church 
and State as it is now by law established," but he was at heart intent upon 
establishing Catholirism, and was much feared by the dissenters. 

' "Let it be unto him as a garment which covereth him, and for a girdle where- 
with he is girded continually. Let tliis be the reward of mine adversaries from 
the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul." 

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MAY, I 68 s 95 

Oh! what a Challenge can I now give, unto all my 
Enemies, to do their worst upon mee! 

2sd. 2 m. This Afternoon I gave myself, and all that 
can any way bee mine, unto the Blessed God; resting 
assured, that Hee would accept of mee, and employ my All, 
in His deUghtful Service. Wherefore now I am happy. 
World without End. 

2j d. 2 m. A kind Redeemer, is continually, I find, 
carrying on my Conformitie to Himself, strengthening my 
Faith in God imder weighty Concernments; weaning mee 
from all the DeUghts of this World; filling mee with per- 
petual Thoughts of the Things that are not seen; making 
mee contented under all Afflictions, yea, joyful in them, 
and thankful for them, and causing of mee to long for my 
Dissolution. 

Bless the Lord, O my Soul, forever! 

2d. ^m. [May.] A Design. O my Soul; give Glory to 
thy everglorious Lord, by being like Noah, like Lot, like 
Joshua and Caleb, for an Abstinence from the Sins of the 
Time and Place, wherein thou Uvest. 

And for thy Assistence herein, bee careful to single out, 
now and then, a Season, (on a Lord's-Day Noon) wherein 
to consider, Whai are the special Sins of this Time and 
Place? and upon a Discovery thereof, lett thy Cautions bee 
quickened. 

^d. 7,m. Lord's-Day. My Heart, is this Day very much 
melted, in thinking. 

If on the one Side, there should bee profered unto mee, 
all that can bee desired of this World's Good, attended with 
the degrading Misery of Uving only to myself, in the Midst 
of aU; 

If on the other side, there should bee profered unto 
mee the Happiness of bringing very much Glory unto the 
Lord Jesus Christ, even in a Life of many and bitter Afflic- 
tions; 

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g6 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

I should, with an unspeakably strong Bent of Soul, 
choose the latter. And so, I assuredly infer, that I shall 
not miss of so great Salvation! '^ 

^d. 2,^. Because my Ordination is to bee performed 
the next Week, and because a Parliament is this very Day 
to sitt in England, I now apphed myself imto the Exercises 
of a secret FAST before the Lord. 

The Lord having assured mee, that all Controversie 
between Him and my Soul, was done awa}-, I solemnly 
thus renewed and subjected His Covenant and gave up 
myself unto Him. 

The COVENANT. 



I renounce all the Vanities, and cursed Idols, and evil Course 
of this World. 

I Engage, That I will ever have the Great God, my best Good, 
my last End, and my only Lord. 

That I will ever bee rendring of Acknowledgments unto the Lord 
Jesus Christ, in all the Relations which Hee bears unto mee. 

That I will ever bee studying, what is my Dutie in these Things; 
and wherein I iind myself to fall short, I will ever make it my Grief, 
my Shame; and for Pardon betake myself unto the Blood of the aer- 
lasling Covenant. 

Now, humbly imploring the Grace of the Mediator, to bee suffn-ienl 
for mee, I do, as a further Solemnitie, hereunto subscribe my Name, 
with both Hand and Heart. 

Cotton Mather. 

Hereupon, I committed into the Hands of the Lord 
Jesus Christ the Affayrs of my future Ministry. Declar- 

' "Sabbath May 3rd, a letter read from the Nforth) Church wherein Mr 
Willard and Messengers desired to be sent in order to ordain Mr. Cotton Mather, 
Pastor of that Church, signed, Increase Mather, at the desire and order of the 
Church. The Covcrnour and self with the Deacons, nominated to goe." Scwall, 
Diary, i. 71. On May 11, Sewall "accompanied Mr. [Joshua] Moodey to Mr. 
[John] Eliot's to persuade Mr. Benjamin (l';iiot] to go to the Ordination of Mr. 
Cotton Mather, in which I hope we have prevailed; the mentioning of it drew 
Tears from the good Father so as to hinder his Speech." Diary, i. 75. Hcnjamin 
Eliot assisted his father for many years in the church in Roxbury, but was never 
ordained. lie died October 15, 1687, before his fatlier, the "Apostle to the Indians." 
Sewall adds that Benjamin Eliot had "not been at Town these many years." 

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MAY, 1685 97 

ing irnto His Majesty, that I had received from Him, a 
Call unto a Work, wherein I expected, that I should meet 
■with no external Advantage, but Sorrow, and Sickness, and 
Obloquy; nevertheless, out of Love to Him, who hath done 
marvellous Things for mee, I would undertake it, and feed 
His Sheep, and His Lambs. 

The Lord having assured mee, that Hee would bee with 
mee; and particularly in my approaching Ordination; I 
promised unto Him, 

1. That I wovild ever endeavour to bee & faithful Pastor 
unto those, over whom Hee should sett mee. 

2. That I would endeavour to bee very humble, under 
whatever Enlargements, Hee should vouchsafe unto mee. 

3. That I never would retain upon my Spirit any 
Resentments of any Wrong or Sleight, which an}- of the 
Church might heretofore have ill-treated mee withal. 

At length coming to sollicit the Lord, for the DeUver- 
ance of His People, in this cloudy Day, I did, according to 
my late Promise, now engage, that if the Lord would merci- 
fully work Deliverance, 

1. I would bee a Servant of the Lords forever; and 
alwayes reserve, often revolve, sometimes renew, my written 
Covenant so to bee. 

2. I would labour to bee contented with whatever Con- 
dition, the Lord shall carve unto mee. 

3. I would, as my Capacitie for it growes, unto my 
utmost pursue the Welfare of all the Churches in this 
Land. 

4. I would promote the PubUcation of a good Book, 
whereby the Souls of many in the Countrey may bee edified.' 

5. I would essay to visit the Families, of the Flock, 
belonging unto mee; and seek the Salvation of the lost 
Souls in them. 

' His first published sermon or treatise was that on The CM of the Gospel 
applyed unto all Men in general, preached before the execution of James Morgan. 

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98 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Diverse Times this week, have I been overwhelmed, 
with melancholy Apprehensions of my Unfitness for the 
weighty Work now before mee, and of the Likelihood that 
the supporting Presence of God may bee denied unto mee. 
Woful have been the Disorders of my Soul, thro' these 
Apprehensions! 

But then, I have poured out my Soul imto the Lord 
and Hee hath given mee glorious Visions of His Power, His 
Goodness, and His Truth; and Hee hath helped mee, with 
a weeping Faith, to rest assured, that Hee will surely do 
mee Good, and never leave mee, nor J or sake mee. 

13 d. 3 w. THIS DAY is appointed {Because Thou, O 
Lord, art stronger than I, and hast prevailed ! ) for my ORDI- 
NATION, to the Office of a Pastor over the North Church 
in Boston. 

In the Morning while I was alone, meditating on the 
Work, which the Call of the Lord Jesus Christ hath now 
putt mee upon, and of the Supports and Rewards which 
Hee has therein ensured imto mee, I was diverse Times 
melted into Tears; and the Spirit of my Glorious Master 
gave mee such rapturous Touches and Prospects, as that I 
was forced most unwillingly to shake them off; they would 
have been too hard for mee, and I would not have others 
take notice of any Effects thereby left upon mee. 

With a Soul, inexpressibly irradiated from on High, I 
went into one of the vastest Congregations that has ever 
been seen in these parts of the World; where I prayed 
about an Hour and a Quarter, and preached (on Joh. 21.17.) ' 
about an Hour and a three quarters; With such Assistences 
from Heaven, as exceeded all that my poor Faith could have 
imagined. 

In the Afternoon, my Father having prayed and preached 

' "He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? 
Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And 
he said unto him, Lord, thou knowcst all things; thou linowest that I love thee. 
Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." 

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MAY,i68s 99 

(on Act. 13.2.)/ the Ordinatio n was perfonned, with a more 
than ordinary Solemnitie, producing a greater Number of 
moved Hearts and weeping Eyes, than perhaps have been 
at any Time here seen together. 

My Fath er, with Mr. Allen and Mr. Wil lard, the other 
two Ministers in the Town, imposed Hands on mee. My 
Father gave mee my charge: (which I have transcribed at 
the Beginning of my Bible) : And good old Mr. Eliot gave 
mee, the right Hand of Fellowship.^ 

The CHARGE given to mee at my Ordination to the Office of 
Pastor over the Second-Church, in Boston. 

Whereas you Ufwn whom wee impose our Hands, are called to 
the Work of the Ministry, and to the Office of a Pastor in this Church 
of Christ, wee charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and 
in the Presence of elect Angels, that you take heed to the Ministry 
which you have received in the Lord, to fulfill it, and that you feed 
the whole Flock of God over which the Holy Ghost hath made you 
Overseer; that you study to shew yourself approved of God and a 
Workman that need not bee ashamed; that you give yourself to 
Reading and to Meditation, to Exhortation and to Doctrine; and 
that you endeavour to show yourself an Example of the Beleevers, in 
Faith, in Spirit, in Purity, in Charity, and in Conversation. 

And if You keep this Charge, wee pronounce unto you that the 
Lord of Hosts will give you a Place among His Holy Angels that 
stand by, and are Witnesses of this Dayes-Solemnity, and of your 
being thus solemnly sett apart to the special Service of God, and of 
Jesus Christ; And if you do thus, when the Lord Jesus shall appear, 
you shall appear with Him in glory. Hee, who is the cheef Shepherd 
will then give imto you a Crown of Glory which shall never fade away.* 

16 d. 3 m. Designs. I am now in a Station, wherein 
I am to do more for my Lord Jesus Christ, than ever. 

• "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate 
me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." Sewall 
records that the father spoke in his sermon of "Aaron's Garments being put on 
Eleazer, intimating he knew not but that God might now call him out of the 
world." Diary, 1. 76. 

» He called Mather "a Trover of Jesus Christ." Sewall, Diary, 1. 76. 

• The charge is written on a slip which has been attached to the page of the 
Diary by wafers. 

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lOO DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

As I have not hitherto recorded all my Designs to glorify 
the Lord, so, as my Work increases, I suspect I shall have 
less Time to do it, than heretofore. 

Yett some of my Contrivances now and then, I would 
write, that so I may suggest unto some other Persons, a 
few Methods of honouring the Redeemer; (except I should 
see cause, before I dy, to throw all these Papers into the 
Fire!) 

At this Time, I think on these Things. 

I. It should bee my care, that on the Close of every 
Satureday, the Sabbath find mee engaged, in some fixed 
Meditation on the Lord JESUS CHRIST. Oh! That I 
might know Him, love Him, serine Him, now more than ever! 
My affectionate Thoughts in this way upon Him, will very 
much befriend mee, in my doing so. And besides, my 
prcBparations for His Day, will hereby bee very much 
assisted. 

II. I would, on some Dayes, lay myself under a Penaltie, 
that thro' the whole Day I will not speak one Word, of 
which I win not bee able to saj-, tJtat I directly transgressed 
not any plain Commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ by 
speaking it; and, titat, unto the best of my Apprehension I 
had cause for speaking of it. 

III. I would frequently use for study a great Part of 
my Sermons, kneeling. That is, thus: I will have my 
Table-Book of Slate ' lying before mee, WTien I am going 
to compose a Sermon; and kneeling at my chair, I would 
earnestly call upon the eternal Spirit, that Hee would assist 
mee in what I am about. If I do it, in a settled Prayer, I 
would after the Prayer is over, still remain in my Posture, 
for some Time, noting down what Hints occurr to mee, fitt 

' One of the record books of the Second Church, known as No. i in Mr. Brown's 
memorandum, is of pocket si/c, with thick oiled card-board leaves alternating 
with leaves of usual writing paper. These card boards were the "book of slate," 
for they could be used again ami again. The book was given to Mather by his 
brother Samuel, October i6, 1682. 

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JUNE, 1685 lOI 

for my Improvement. If I do it with Ejaculations, I would 
intermingle my Writing with my Prayer, so far, and so 
long, as may bee convenient.* 

23 d. 3 w. Designs. When our Lord Jesus Christ, 
was entring upon His public Ministry, very sore Tempta- 
tions assaulted Him. It may bee, now I am lately ordained, 
I shall not want my Temptations. To prevent my dis- 
honouring of God under them, 

1. I would Immediately go read a profitable Book or 
two, concerning Temptations. 

2. I woiild now and then sett apart a Time to 
think, 

What is the Temptation wherewith I am now most of all 
endangered? 

2$d. ^m. This Day I sett apart for secret Thanksgiv- 
ings unto God. I spent the Day, most of it, retired in 
our Meeting-house; Meditating on the Lord's various 
Mercies to mee, and mentioning of those Mercies on my 
Knees before Him; and singing Psalms agreeable. 

Moreover, in the Beginning of the Day I took sin- 
gular Pains to celebrate and magnify the Lord, for 
those Things wherein I am not so nearly concerned, as 
particular Favours to myself; namely, His Attributes, 
and Perfections, and His wondrous Works in Creation 
and Providence. 

Yea, I blessed Him for Afflictions also. I then contrived, 
how to glorify the Lord, particularly, by Strengthening 
the Hands of our Tithing-Men, to promote Reformation. 
And by reviving our young Men's Meetings on the Sabbath- 
Evening, which are fallen under some Decay. 

And by studying to speak, with more Exactness, Watch- 
fulness, Fruitfulness. 

7 d. 4 m [June.] My dear Friend, Mr. Shepard of 

'On May 22 a private fast was held at Judge Sewjill's, both Mathers 
taking part. Diary, 1. 76. 

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I02 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Charlestown, being taken suddenly ill, I preached for him, 
in the forenoon.' 

At Noon, hee said unto mee, My Hopes are built on the 
free Mercy of God, and the rich Merit of Christ, and I do 
beleevc, thai if I am taken out of the World, I shall only change 
my Place; I shall neither change my Company nor change 
my Communion: And as for you, Syr, I beg the Lord Jesus 
to be with you, unto the End of the World. 

At Night, unto the Consternation of mee, and all his 
Friends, hee dyed.'' 

On this Day, I baptised the first Child that ever I washed 
in the Name of the Glorious Trinitie. It was, Hannah the 
Daughter of John Green. 

On 28 d. 4 m. was the first Time of my Administring 
the Lord's-Supper, which I did, after I had preached on 
Joh. 3. 16.' with comfortable Assistances from Heaven. 

30 d. 4 m. This Day, I sett apart for secret Thanksgiv- 
ings before the Lord. 

In the former Part of the Day, I sang, I read, I thought, 
and on my Knees, I mentioned, such Occasions to speak 
well of God, as I had heretofore took Notice of. 

In the Afternoon, I thanked the Lord, 

1. For His gracious Works on my Heart. 

2. For my Improvement in the Ministry of His Gospel. 

3. For my Acceptance among His People. 

4. For the Success of my Labours, become very manifold 
and visible. 

' From Sewall's entry under June 9, it would seem that the afternoon sermon 
was preached by Nathaniel Gookin. Diary, i. 83. 

' This was Thomas Shepard, the younger, who had, on May 5, 1680, succeeded 
his father in the pulpit and was regarded as a worthy son of an honored father. 
He was only twenty-seven at his death. He was buried on June 9. "It seems 
there were some Verses; but none pinned on the Hersc. Scholars went before 
thp Herse." See Sewall, Diary, 1. 81, 8j. Mather wrote an appropriate sketch 
of him in the Magnalia, Bk. rv. 201, and the text of a sermon is given on page 
120, post. 

• " For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that 
whosoever believcth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 

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AUGUST, 1685 103 

5. For my /rec Utterance. 

6. For my large Library 

And in Thankfulness to the Lord, I invigorated my 
Design to visit the Families of the Flock. 

2 d. 5 w. [Jtdy.] This Day, was the first, of my preach- 
ing the Countrey-Lecture,' wherein the Lord gave mee 
extraordinary Assistance. (I discoursed, on 2. Cor. 5. 5.) ' 

About the Beginning of this Month, I began one of the 
most holy and useful Practises, of all that ever the Good 
Spirit of the Lord has taught mee, in the whole Course of 
my Life. This was, 

A Course of Reading the Scriptures, with such a devout 
Attention, as to fetch at least one Observation, and one 
Supplication, a Note and a Wish, out of every Verse in all 
the Bible. 

I have a Prospect of, who can tell how much, Truth, 
and Grace, to pass thro' my Soul, in thus waiting upon 
God! 

And I give more Thanks unto the Lord, for teaching 
mee, this Way of living, than if Hee had bestowed the great- 
est earthly Revenues upon mee. 

The Method, which I thus used in Reading, I also took 
up for Singing; and thus tis, that the Singing of Psalms, 
becomes to mee, a more deUcious, entertaining, profitable 
Exercise, than tis, perhaps to many of them that practise it. 

The Rest of this month, and the most of the Next, 
brought not with it, much that was remarkable. 

I went on, in such Methods of serving my Lord, as have 
been already here and there described. 

And I took a Voyage to Plymouth, where I spent a couple 
of Sabbaths. 

25 d. 6 m. [August.] I spent this Day in secret Humilia- 

' "In his Father's Turn, who keeps at Cambridge." Sewall, Diary, i. 8$. 
■ "Now he that hath wrought lis for the selfsame thing, is God, who also 
hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit." 

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I04 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

lions, and Supplications; especially, to seek for the Guidance 
and Blessing of God, in what concerns the change of my 
Condition in the World, from single, to married; whereto, 
I have now many Invitations. 

•J d. "J m. [September.] There is a young Gentleman, Mr. 
Daniel Royse, for whose everlasting Happiness, I have used 
many Endeavours. But unto all the rest, I now added this. 

I prevailed with him, to bee with mee, all this Day in 
my Study; and I spent the Day, in Prayer with Fasting, 
for His eternal Welfare. I intermingled the Devotions of 
the Day, with as entertaining a Varitie of Discourses upon 
Divine Matters as I could: I also putt him upon bearing 
a part in these Devotions; and having drawn up in Writing, 
a solemn Covenant, I left EUm not, until his conquered Heart 
and Hand, most affectionately subscribed it, and so hee 
bound himself unto the Service of the Lord. 

This gentleman, afterwards joined unto our church and 
lived and died, a serious Christian.' 

This Day has been painfully laid out, by mee, for the 
gaining of one precious and immortal Soul, unto the Lord 
Jesus Christ; and I trust that I have prospered in it. 

How willing should I bee, to employ no small Part of 
my Life, after this rate! 

About this Time, the Calamities and Confusions of the 
English Nation,^ caused mee to order myself to bee called 
up, an Hour earlier in Mornings, than I use to Rise; that 
I might retire for Siglis, and Prayers, and Psalms, to bee 
employed for the distress'd Churches of God. 

•This paragraph is written in the margin. Sewall, under date January 31, 
1685-86, notes, "Mr. Royse taken in and baptised in the North Church." The 
name was Daniel Royce. 

' The news of Argyll's capture and death, and of Monmouth's rising were 
now known in Boston. The victory of the King over Monmouth at Sedgcmoor, 
on July 6, the capture and execution of Monmouth, were not known until Sep- 
tember 2a. The letters from Nathaniel Mather to Increase Mather, written 
from Ireland in these years, contain much that would give occasion to anxieties. 
4 Collec lions, vrii. 56. 

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OCTOBER, l68S 105 

And I made a VOW: 

That whenever I received certain Tidings, of the Lord's 
appearing to scatter our Foes and our Fears I will, within 
a Fortnight after, at furthest, keep a Day of Thanksgiving 
unto Him; wherein also I would make it my Business to 
contrive what other Acknowledgments, I should make unto 
Him, for His Benefits. 

Several have been my Designs, in the two Months that 
are past; but these among the rest: 

I. Whenever I pray with any sick Person, I would bee 
at pains to do what good I can, upon the Souls of them, 
that attend in the Room, where I give the \'isit. 

II. I would on Lord's Day Mornings, have my rising 
Thoughts often employed on this Quaestion, What Service 
may I do for the Lord Jesus Christ, as I am a Pastor to a 
Flock of His? 

III. Oh ! That while I am dressing myself in any Morn- 
ing, I may bee frequently thinking, What special Service 
is there to bee done by mee, for the Lord Jesus Christ, in tlie 
Day ensuing. 

rV. When I have heard a Sermon preached, I would, as 
I go out of the Assembly send up an Ejaculation to Heaven, 
that the Truths newly delivered may have an happy and a 
lasting Effect upon mee! 

V. What Service may I do for the Lord Jesus Christ, 
as I am an Overseer of Harvard-College? I may suggest 
imto my Father, who is the Rector of it, many profitable 
Things. Especially, as to settling the Students in good 
Principles. 

VI. When I imderstand that any Person belonging to my 
Flock, is in any peculiar Affliction or Temptation, I would 
of my own Accord, seek an Opportunitie, to assist them. 

1"] d.?)m. [October.] ' This Day, which was a Fast in 

' Mather prayed at the Artillery Meeting, Monday, October $. Sewall, 
Diary, I. og. 

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I06 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

my Study, was a Day full of Sweetness and Heaven; and 
Assurances, that I am a pardon'd and shall be a blessed 
Man. One of my Errands to Heaven was, Guidance about 
the Change of my Condition. 

i8d.8m Lord's Day. At the Lord's-Table, I did, as the 
Pastor of the Church, in the Name of my Father, then pres- 
ent, and myself, profess, that if our Death were needful to 
ensure the Salvation of any Soul present, wee would bee willing 
to dy immediately: and that, however wee brought all of them 
in our Arms unto the Saviour of Souls, that there might not 
bee one Child of Perdition among them all. 

24 d. 8 m. De sign s. I. Lett mee do my part, in 
obtaining of the Ministers in this Town, that wee may 
together in private have our Dayes for Prayer with Fast- 
ing; which ourselves, our Flocks our whole distressed Land 
may fare the better for. 

II. Never bee at Rest, while our Island here, the North 
part of Boston, is without a good Schoolmaster, and a florish- 
ing School. 

III. My Father has praepared a little Book, about FaUh, 
and Repentance, and the Day of Judgment.^ Lett mee 
promote and assist the Publication of it; and ^vith no 
small Expence, endeavour to scatter it into Multitudes of 
Houses. 

J d. g m [November.] This DAY, was devoted unto 
secret Humiliations and Supplications, before the God of 
Heaven. 

Having this Day, obtained and received, a joyful Assur- 
ance, that none of my former Iniquities would bee remem- 
bred against mee, I sett myself to beg the Smiles of God 
upon mee, in the Ordering of my single or married Estate, 
unto His Glory. 

I acknowledged unto the Lord, my own Unworthiness 
of any good Thing, especially of the good Thing, which is 

' The Greatest Sinners Exhorted and Encouraged, Boston, 1686. 

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NOVEMBER, 1685 IO7 

found by them that ohtaxa. favour of the Lord: I professed, 
that I would study to do nothing hereabout, that should 
bee Displeasing unto Him: I declared, that I desired 
Nothing in this World, which might prejudice my Glorify- 
ing of Himself: I said, that if Hee saw any thing would 
hinder mee from honouring of Him, I should bee glad, if 
Hee would hinder mee from having of that, whatever my 
misguided Appetites, might plead unto the contrary: I 
said, that if Hee would have mee to embrace a Codibacy, 
I would evermore take a Contentment in it, as that which 
would capacitate mee to serve my Parents, and His People, 
to whom I owe my All. i®" Nevertheless, to this I sub- 
joined, that since my Inclinations and Invitations did now 
seem to recommend a married Estate unto mee, I begg'd 
of Him, that Hee would lead mee in the Way wherein I should 
go; and I VOW'd imto Him, that if Hee would prevent 
all Obstructions, of my desirable Settlement in a married 
Relation, imto one who shall bee a Blessing to mee, in 
that Work, which my Hand finds to do, I will TWICE 
at least, EVERY YEAR, join with her, in keeping a 
Day of Thanksgiving, privately imto Himself: except His 
Providence at any Time, give a sufficient Cause, for the 
Omission of it. 

In this month, I had these among other. Desig ns. 

I. The Apostles advice to a Young Minister, was Exer- 
cise thyself unto Godliness^ 

1 would now Read over Mr. Swinnock's fine Discourses,' 
on this Art; and bestow my particular Ejactdations upon 
every Article, as I go along. 

II. Tis observable, that the Want of Mortification in a 
Minister, procures a sad Unsuccessftdness unto his Ministry. 
That I may not bee, as alas, I fear, I am, a doleful Instance 
hereof, lett mee immediately read over Dr. Owens Holy 

' I Tim. 4, 7. 

' George Swinnock (1627-1673), a non-conformist divine. He wrote much, 

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I08 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Treatise of Mortification,^ and endeavour to apply and follow 
the Directions in it. 

III. When I hear a Sermon, it shall bee a Custome with 
mee, to attend every Head, and every Text, mentioned by 
the Preacher, with some Ejactdaiion to Heaven, pertinent 
thereunto. 

Oh! Blessed bee the Lord, for teaching mee, this Way 
of liearing His word, and moulding my Heart according to 
that Word! 

IV. I would have by mee, a Catalogue of all the Com- 
municants belonging unto our church, ^ and in my secret 
Prayers, I would sometimes go over this Catalogue, by 
Parcels at a Time, upon my Knees; praying for the most 
suitable Blessings I can think of, to bee bestow'd on each 
Person, by Name distinctly mentioned. 

lid. lo m. [December.] In a praeparation for the Lord's 
Supper, I came at last imto these Passages before the Lord. 

"Lord, I am willing to part with aU that thou wouldest 
have mee to forego, for an Interest in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
I am willing to forego my Righteousnesses; and I do confess 
unto Thee, that after all that I have done, or can do, for 
Thee, if Thou shouldest break mee sore in the Place of 
Dragons forever, I could not sa>-, there were any Injustice 
in thy Proceedings. I am wUling to forego my Corrup- 
tions too; and I do profess unto Thee that I wish every 
Sin were made bitter unto my Soul; I wish I may choose 
Thee only for my Best Good and my last end; and never 
do or bee any thing, but glorify Thee forever." 

The last Week of this Month, I preached on Lord's-Day, 
Munday, Tuesday, Wednesday,' Thursday, in the same week. 

' John Owen (1616-1683), Of the Morlification of Sin in Believers, 1668. 

' Such a list, but in the writing of Increase Mather, is in Record Book, No. 3 
of the Second Church. There were sixty-nine brethren and one hundred and 
seven sisters. 

'"Mr. Cotton Mather Preaches forenoon, mentions the Notion Mede has 
about America's Peopling." Scwall, Diary, 1. 115. Nathaniel Mather, uncle of 

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JANUARY, 1685-86 109 

Yea, several weeks, I have in one week preached five Times 
and once, I preach'd five Times in two Dayes, which came 
together. So that it cannot bee expected, that I should 
have much Liesure, to record much in my private Papers. 
But among my Designs, I would particularly enter 
these. 

I. In perusing my Sermons before I preach them, I 
would ever make my doing of that, an Exercise of Devotion; 
by endeavouring to fetch an Ejaculation, out of every Head, 
and every Text produced in them. 

II. In preaching of my Sermons, lett my active Mind 
bestow upon my Hearers, ejaculatory prayers, like those 
which I have employ'd for myself, in the revolving of them. 

HI. When I understand, that any of my Flock do not 
walk so as to adorn the Doctrine of God their Saviour, I 
would with a very particular and pecuUar Concernment 
for them, often cry unto God, on the behalf of those Per- 
sons by Name; that they may glorify the Lord. 

22, d. II m. [January, 1685-86.] This Day I spent, in the 
Services of a secret FAST. Especially for the Smiles of 
Heaven upon mee, to direct mee about the change of my 
single Estate. 

This Day, with Anguish of Soul, in the Sense of my own 
Sinfulness, and Filthiness, I cast myself prostrate, on my 
Study-floor with my mouth in the Dust. Here, I lamented 
imto the Lord, my Follies, which might have an Influence 
to deprive mee of the Blessing which I was now pursuing. 
I judg'd, I loath'd, I hated myself, because of those accursed 
Things and besought the Forgiveness thereof, thro' the 
Blood of the Covenant. I then begg'd of the Most High, 
that Hee would, notwithstanding all my Miscarriages, 

.Cotton, had a poor opinion of Mede's works. "It is easy to discern all along his 
other writings that there was a secret rottennes that influenced his glosses and 
interpretations of Scriptures, and indeed this is it that makes his books so accept- 
able with many of our prelaticall clergy; yea, very many of his admired notions 
are only covers for some such sore." 4 Collections, vm. 8. 

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no DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

bestow upon mee, a Companion for my Life, by whose 
Prudence, Vertue, good Nature, I might, while I am alive 
in this World, bee assisted in the Service of my Master, 
and whose company I might also at length have in the 
Heaven of Heavens forever. I pleaded that Marriage was 
His Ordinance; and that Hee had promised, no good Thing 
should bee witheld from mee. I said unto Him; that I 
cast the whole Burden of the Care, about this Affayr, upon 
Him; Expecting, that Hee would mercifully divert my 
Inclinations, from this matter, if it would prove displeasing 
to Him, or Disadvantageous to myself; entreating, that if it 
may bee left for mee to proceed Hee would please to direct 
my Choice, and all my Steps, and overrule the Hearts of my 
Friends, and of Her unto whom I may make my Addresses, 
to favour what I prosecute : and in His due Time, so settle 
mee, as to give mee rich Demonstrations of His loving 
Kindness; engaging herewithal, that I would then more than 
ever glorify Him, and spend my Time, in making of blessed 
Matches between the Son of God, and the Souls of Men. 

27 d. II m. This Day, I kept in my Study, as a Day of 
secret THANKSGIVING, unto that Gracious God, wliose 
I am, and, whom I serve. 

The Forenoon, I spent, 

I. In acknowledging of my own Vilemss before God, 
whereby I have become, after an aggravated Manner, 
unworthy of all that Goodness and Mercy, which has fol- 
lowed mee all my Dayes. 

II. In acknowledging of tliose Glories, which belong 
unto the Great God, as Hee is infinitely excellent in Himself, 
and as Hee is the Creator and the Governour, of all the World; 
and unto the Lord Jesus Christ, as Hee is one altogether 
lovely. 

In these Exercises, my Heart was rapt into those heavenly * 
Frames, which would have turned a Dungeon into a Para- 
dise. 

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JANUARY, 1685-86 III 

In the Afternoon, I went over the former Kindnesses of 
God unto myself, in my Thoughts, my Psahns, my Praises. 

But I more emphatically single out three Things, wherein 
I have seen the Loving-kindness of God. 

1. Answers to Petitions. 

2. Rescues from Temptations. 

3. Those Afflictions, by means whereof, I have enjoy'd 
both. 

I assay'd then to Bless the Lord, for those Favours 
wherewith I am at present, on every side surrounded. 

1. My Life and Health. 

2. My Accomplishments in any Points of Learning. 

3. My exceedingly- well-furnished Library. 

4. My Improvement in the Ministry of the Gospel. 

5. My peaceable Settlement, in a place of great Oppor- 
tunities. 

6. My Deliverance from the Chains upon my Utter- 
ance. 

7. My Success in my public and private Labours. 

8. My Acceptance and Interest, among the People of 
God. 

9. My Enjoyment of my Father, notwithstanding my 
many Dangers of loosing him. 

10. The notable Growth and Peace of the Flock, whereof 
I am the Pastor. 

11. The Continuance of New England's precious and 
pleasant Things. 

Having employ'd my Admirations and Adorations upon 
the Grace, from whence these Things do come imto mee; 
I then came to consider the Free-grace of God unto mee in, 

1. The Gift of the Lord Jesus Christ, imto the World. 

2. The Offer of the Lord Jesus Christ unto myself in 
partioilar. 

3. The Sense of my Need of the Lord Jesus Christ, 

which God has given mee. 

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112 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

4. The Union with the Lord Jesus Christ, which the 
Holy Spirit has brought mee unto. 

5. All the Operations of God, upon my Soul, whereby 
Hee is every Day making mee more meet for the Inheritance 
of tlte Saints in Light. 

I concluded the Day, with considering. What shall I 
r Older to the Lord? 

I then gave my Self, my whole Self, aU my powers, 
Members, Interests, and Capacities, which, I owned, was 
the least that I owned, unto the Lord. 

In particular, I added. 

That since I ow'd all my good Things, unto the Com- 
passion of God, 

I would always bee contriving, how to honour Him; 
and immediately procure some Testitnony, against some 
common and growing Evils, which ofiFended Him, in our 
Land. 

And since it was the Mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ 
unto which I own'd the Procurement of all, 

I would quickly preach a Sermon, in the biggest Auditory 
of this Countrey, the Scope whereof should bee, to magnify 
the Lord Jesits Christ, and invite the Minds of men, unto 
an assiduous Contemplation of His glories. 

I did it, on Isa. 33. 17.' 

Some of the other Designs, which I had this Month 
were these. 

I. Alas, tis because I have an hard Heart, that I do so 
httle Good, in the World. And what shall I do for it? 
Among other Things, I will go read some savoury Book, 
the Tendcncie whereof shaU bee, to represent the Signs and 

' This line is written in the margin. "Thine eyes shall see the King in his 
beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off." Sewall says of this ser- 
mon that it was "somewhat disgusted for some expressions; as sweet sented 
hands of Christ, Lord High Trcasurir of .Klhiopia, Ribband of Humility which 
was sorry for, because of the excellency and seasonableness of the subject, and 
otherwise well handled. Doctrine, 'lis a matchless privilcdg to behold Christ 
in his liiauty." Diary, l. iig. 

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JANUARY, 1685-86 113 

Cures of an }iard Heart, with a serious Hearkening to what, 
God the Lord shall thereby speak unto mee. 

II. 0, that the Time, which the Ministers have together 
every week, after the Lecture, were spent unto more ixniversal 
Edification! Can I do nothing to promote it? 

III. T he glorious Assu rances, which I have enjoyed and 
uttered, very many Times, for now some years together, 

.about the Lord's Appearing to dehve r His People from 
impending Desolations, are now answe red. That Monst er 
Kirk,^ who was coming to New England, with a Regiment 
of Red-Coats, to sacrifice the best Lives among us, is divert ed 
f rom coming hither, by the happv Death of t^at grea ter 
Monster K. Charles II. And with K. James II. thing s are 
operating towards such a Libert y for the Dissen ters, as may, 
for o ught I know, begin the Resurrection of our Lo rd's 
Witnesses : it being just three years and an half since their 
Congregations were all dissipated, and a Thanksgiving cele- 
brated thro' a wicked Nation for it.' 

Wherefore, lett mee now, procure as many Dayes of 
Praise as I can, among the Meetings with whom I have had 
so many Dayes oj Prayer, on these Occasions. 

IV. I would endeavour to make my Prayers at the 
Lord's Table an Engine, for the cure of whatever Distempers 
in our Church, at any time occvu- to Observation. I would 
therefore observe, the Disorders, the Vanities, the Corrup- 
tions, which my Flock is most in danger of, and I would, 
in the most ingenious Methods I can use, labour to spoil 

•Percy Kirke. "Kirke, a short-tempered, rough-spoken, dissolute soldier, 
was no doubt harsh and unscrupulous, but the accounts of his atrocities are ficti- 
tious or exaggerated," Chichester, in Dictionary of National Biography, xxxi. 
215. No good word was ever said for Kirke in New England, but even Edward 
Randolph thought him a most unfit person to be sent to America. See Toppan, 
Edward Randolph (Prince Society). 

' Nothing could have been further from the truth than this expectation. 
The king was working to restore Catholicism, and to that end had an understand- 
ing with France. His efforts to introduce an irresponsible despotism caused all 
his other plans to fail, and drove him from the throne. 

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114 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

them, with my Prayers over my poor Sheep, when wee are 
at the Holy Supper, lying down, in the green Pastures. 

6 d. 12 m [Febriiary.] A Design. It will cost mee 
very bitter Toyls and Pains, yett perhaps I may bee very 
serviceable in it; if I procure to myself an exact Account 
of those Evil Humours, which this place is at any Time, 
under the observable Dominion of. And, whereas those 
Divels may bee cast out by Fasting and Prayer, sett apart , 
still a Day of secret Prayer, with Fasting, on the Occasion 
of each of them; to deprecate my own Guiltiness therein, 
and supplicate for such Effusions of the Spirit from on High, 
as may redress, remove, and banish such Distempers from 
the Place.' 

In the Winter of this Year, I putt in execution, a couple 
of Designs, wherein the Favour of God, was \-ery Great 
unto mee. 

I. I sett upon Visiting all the Families of our Church, 
taking sometimes one and sometimes two. Afternoons in a 
Week for that purpose. 

I still sent aforehand unto the Families, that I intended 
at such a Time to visit them, and when I came unto them, 
I essay'd with as handsome and as pungent Addresses as 
I was able, to treat every Person particularly about their 
everlasting Interests; and the young People I still asked 
some Questions of the Catechism, from the Answers whereof 
I made as lively Apphcations unto them as I could, for 
the engaging of them unto the Service of God. 

I enjoy'd a most wonderful Presence of God ^\'ith mee, 
in tliis Undertaking; and seldome left a Family, without 
many Tears of Devotion dropt by all sorts of Persons in it. 

' lie may refer to the beginnings of the witchcraft outbreak. In January 
Sewall heard of a " Maid at Wobum who tis feared is possessed by an evil Spirit." 
But Mr. Willard preached a sermon on I'cbruary 7, seeming "very sensible of 
the Countries Danger as to Changes." There was certainly enough in what 
was passing in England to awaken sad forebodings. What was reported to be 
roving in the fields may be gathered from Sewall, Diary, I. ua. 

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FEBRUARY, 1685-86 II5 

I could seldome dispatch more than three or four Families 
in an Afternoon; and the work was as laborious as any in 
all my Ministry. But I dispatch'd more than fifty Families, 
in two or three Months; promising to the Lord, that when 
Hee had carried mee thro' my Undertaking, I would keep 
a Day of Thanksgiving to Him, on that Occasion. 

n. I singled out a Number of Students, who were 
Gradtiates, and capable; and these mett at my Study in the 
Forenoon of every Thursday. 

Here, in the several Common-place-Heads in LHvinitie, 
where any notable Controversie had been managed in the 
Church of God, wee had a solernn Disputation, on the con- 
troverted Qucestion; in which Disputation I was alwayes the 
Moderator, and still concluded with a Discourse which by 
Argument established the Truth, defended by the Respondent. 

But, because, upon every Head of Divinitie, there were 
multitudes of Qucestions, not so worthy of a solemn Dis- 
putation, these I laboriously gathered up; and giving them 
to the Societie, at some of our meetings, wee came all 
praepared with brief, but strong and proved, Answers to them, 
which wee accordingly dehvered in our Order. 

Thus, wee resolved upon going thro' a Body of Divinitie. 
And it is incredible, how much wee advantaged ourselves 
by these Exercises. 

Appendix. 

I will take this place to relate the most of the Subjects 
which with my good God's Direction and Assurance I 
have taken unto this Time in my public Ministry prin- 
cipally insisted on.* As for my private sermons the subjects 
therein handled, I have not praeserved. My first public 
Sermons, (for having laid aside my own Thoughts of being 
a Physician, my two first Sermons from Luc. 4. 18 were on 

' In this place Mather has probably given an account of more than one year's 
service, for, in one instance, he gives the date of the discourse as June, 1684, and 
again speaks of some as having been delivered about his twenty-first year. 

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Il6 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

the Lord Jesus Christ as the Physician of our Souls) They 
were to recommend the Lord Jesus Christ, unto the Faith 
of my Hearers, (twice from such Texts as Cant. 5. 17.) and 
to show the Meaning of Beleeving (from such Texts as Act. 
16. 30. and (twice) i. Joh. 3. 23.), and the Nature and Vile- 
ness of Unbeleef (from such Texts, as Luc. 14. 18. and 
(twice) Joh. 16. 9.). Pressing therewithal, the Worth of the 
Soul, as well as of the Saviour, from Math. 16. 26. and the 
Difficulty of being saved, on Math. 7. 14. Two Sermons I 
preached, at Dorchester, on Isa. 3. 10, 11. Two, at Dedham 
from Act 16. 30, 31 Afterwards I distinctly handled, five 
Discourses, and Assertions of the Gospel: that wee want 
a Saviour (from Rom, 5. 6.); that the Lord Jesus Christ 
is a Mighty Saviour, (from Isa. 63. i.); and only Saviour, 
(from Act. 4. 12.); an offered Saviour, (from Isa. 65. i.); 
and infaUibly bestowing Salvacan on the Beleever (from 
Marc. 16. 16.). On a pubUc Thanksgiving I preached, on 
I. Thess. 5. 18. giving thanks in all Things. From hence, I 
passed on, to describe the several Works, by which the Holy 
Spirit prcepared men for the Lord Jesus, touching with one 
whole Sermon, upon Election, as the foundacon of all, from 
I. Thes. 5. 9. And the Vocation in three Sermons on Rom. 
8. 36. On a pubhc Fast, I handled, Ezek, 9. 4. the Mark — 
I describ'd the Prceparation, in general, with two Sermons 
from Luc. i. 17. Then in particular, insisted on Convic- 
tion, in two Sermons, from Psal. 51. 3. And on another, 
Psal. 122. 6. On Contrition in three Sermons, from Act. 2. 
37. On Separation from Sin, in two sermons from Hos. 
14. 3. And on another, Amos 6. 6. On Denial of one's 
own Righteousness in three Sermon, Pliil. 3. 9, and of one's 
own Strength in two Sermons, from Isa. 40. 29, and of 
one's own Will, in Two Sermons from Act. 9. 6. And on 
another. Gen. 22. 14. Having thus, with some faint Imita- 
tion of John Baptist, endeavoured, the Pra;paration of my 
Hearers for the Lord Jesus Christ; I then gave them a 

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FEBRUARY, 1685-86 II7 

solemn Invitation to Him (and I hope, with many of them 
it was a successM one) from Math. ii. 28. On which I 
preached no less than ten Sermons; adding one, on Joh. 
5. 6. and one from Isa. i. 3. about Consideration. And a 
couple, from Act. 16. 14. Once I preached at the Old 
Church, on Mark. i. 40. While I was doing this Work, 
there were several other Subjects whereon I did, as it were 
with a Parenthesis, ever now and then, more occasionally 
discourse, for the Advancement of Godliness, in my Neigh- 
bourhood, e.g. on Math. 6. 33. in four Sermons; on Jer. 13. 
27. in two Sermons; On Eccl. 9. 10. in three Sermons; and 
three or four Sermons on Tim. i. 15; one on Math. 5. 29, 
30; one on Psal. 119. 6. On a public Thanksgiving I han- 
dled. Gen. 32. 10. 

After this, I was willing to give my Hearers a Scheme 
of all practical Religion, with the Motives of it; and for that 
End, I gave them about half a score Sermons, on Psal. 
73. 28. Tacking them, with a Discourse, on Isa. 55. 3. 
Hear and Your Soids shall Live. And with two or three 
Discourses, on Jam. i. 5. and one on Psal. 119. 5. Because 
also, I observed many Christians to bee much exercised 
with spiritual Troubles, I preached several Sermons on 
Cant. 5. 6. and i. Pet. i. 8. 

Moreover, because, it was, now a Time of much Trouble 
among the people of God abroad, and all things look'd 
as if a black Night were coming on ourselves, I preached 
several Sermons on Psal. 46. 2. 

I then singled out those two Pillars of Religion, to 
insist largely upon: in Heb 11. 6. and added many Ser- 
mons about the Sin of Apostasy from such things, as I 
hop'd many by these Discourses had been perswaded unto; 
on Heb. 10. 38. Thrice I preached at the Old Church, on 
Joh. 6. 37. and once on Psal. 119. 60. And thrice at the 
South church on Isa. i. 18. 

To pursue further the Interests of Religion; I preached 
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Il8 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

a Couple of Sermons upon the Duty of Consideration; 
from Ezek. i8. 28. and then singled out four main Subjects 
of Consideration; as first the End for which wee were made, 
in two Sermons, from Isa. 43. 21; the Account, unto which 
wee must bee call'd, in two Sermons, from Eccl. 12. 14; 
the Hell of the Wicked and the Heaven of the Godly; in 
nine Sermons from Math. 25. 46. On a pubUc Fast, 5 d. 
4 m. 1684, I handled Exod. 32. 10. Moses at Prayer. I 
preached these many Sermons when I was about twenty 
years old; all of which, one of my Scholars afterwards 
transcribed, having the Title of, Consideranda, by Mee 
left upon them. Some worthy and aged Christians, per- 
swaded mee to publish them; but I did it not. I also 
twice preached on Ps. 26. 8. the Godly man's Love to 
Ordinances. On another public Fast, Neh. 9. 15 [17]. God 
ready to pardon. In a sickly Time I preached on Isa. 33. 24. 
The Inhabitant not sick. 

For the further Advancement of Religion, I thought of 
one Way more, to recommend it; even in the greatest 
Instances. Wherefore, I first, show'd how far an Hypo- 
crite might go in Religion in two Sermons, from Act 8. 23. 
And then pressed the Duty of Self- Examination, in two 
Sermons, from 2. Cor. 13. 5. And thereupon, I discoursed 
on thirteen Several Marks of Godliness, — ■ as, ejffectual 
Calling, from 2. Pet. i. 10; a new Creature, from 2. Cor. 
5. 17; an Illumination; from Heb. 10.32; God preferred, 
from Psal. 73. 25; Christ prized from i. Pet. 2. 7; Sin 
mortified; from Psal. 18. 23; Afflictions entertained, from 
Psal. 119. 71; the Omniscience of God realized, from i. 
Thess. 2. 4; a Respect to the Name of God, from Isa. 26. 8; 
the Leadings of the Spirit, from Rom. 8. 14; good Resolu- 
tions, from Job. 13. 15; Growth in Grace, from Joh. 15. 2; 
lastly, good Sorrowes, and good Desires; from Marc. 9. 24. 

I preached three Sermons on Isa. i. 3. The Ingratitude 
in Irreligion. In a public Fast, 22 d. 8 m. 1684, I handled, 

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FEBRUARY, 1685-86 IIQ 

Jer. 31. 18. Turn thou mee. On another Jon. 2. 11 [9]. 
Salvation belonging to the Lord.' 

And, (before the underlining, last mentioned) that 
Religion might bee yett more advanced; I preached a Ser- 
mon, on Psal. 31. 19, the general Intention, and Advantage 
of the Fear of God; with two Sermons, on the Good of 
Desiring it; from Neh. i. ii; and one on the Evil of refus- 
ing it; from Jer. 6. 16. I then handled, the Fear of God, 
as attended with an Interest in Christ, from Mai. 4. 2. in 
three Sermons; the Guardianship of Angels, from Psal. 
34. 7. in three Sermons; Life, from Prov. 19. 23; Health, 
from Prov. 3. 7, 8; Honour, from Prov. 22. 4; Riches, from 
Ps. III. 5; Welfare in an evil Day, from Psal. 33. 18, 19. 
The Forgiveness of Sin, from Psal. 103. 11, 12, in three 
Sermons; the Audience of Prayer, from Psal. 145. 19; 
Benefit by Afflictions, from Psal. 112. i, 4, in two Sermons, 
the Knowledge of God, from Psal. 25. 14; the Comfort of 
the Holy Spirit, from Act. 9. 31; good Circumstances in the 
Day of Judgment, from Rev. 11. 18, in two Sermons, ever- 
lasting Happiness, from Prov. 14. 27, in two Sermons. I 
proceeded then to urge, a solemn Consecration of ourselves 
to the Fear of God; from Psal. 119. 38, in two Sermons; 
an Eminency in the Fear of God; from Neh. 7. 2; a Con- 
stancy in the Fear of God, from Deut. 4. 10; the Company 
of them that /ear God, from Psal. 119. 63; the daily Exer- 
cise of the Fear of God; from Prov. 23. 17; an immediate 
Engagement, unto the Fear of God; from Josh. 24. 14. 
With that great Motive to the Fear of God; the Divine 
Omniscience; from Jer. 23. 24. Two Sermons I added, for 
the Cure of Care, from Psal. 37. 5. And a Sermon, on 2. 
Chron. i. 7. Solomon's choice. 

I preached also four Sermons on Jam. 2. 23. Friend- 
ship with God. A Sermon, on Joh. 12. 26, at the Death 

'■ These items were written in the margin. The "underlining, last mentioned " 
refers to "good Desires," at the end of the paragraph preceding. 

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I20 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

of Mr. Shcpanl.' Two Sermons on Job. 6. 44, The Draw- 
ings of the Father. A sermon on Prov. 14. 32, Hope in 
the Death, for the Death of a worthy Neighbour. On Psal. 
90. 12. Numbring our Dayes. On Psal. 116. 4. 5om/- 
Dclivcrancc. Three Sermons, on 2. Cor. 5. 20. Reconcilia- 
tion. On sacramental Occasions, Cant. 5. 2. and i. Cor. 
II. 28. and Joh. 22, 28. 

After these things, I preached four Sermons on Phil. 
I. 21. Christ our Life; one, on Act. 26, 28, almost Per- 
swaded, and three on Joh. 13. 15 Christ our Exemple. 
And then I sett myself, to handle and propose the Ex- 
emple of the Lord Jesus Christ, in many Articles. The 
Imitation of Him, in His Childhood; from Ps. 22. 9. and 
in His Youth, from Ps. no. 3, three Sermons. And three 
in particular Instances. 

' See page 102 supra. 



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i686. 



THE XXIVth year. 

R. G afnalicl,^ on his Wedding-D ay, at Night, said over 
h is Phylacter ies; his Disciples said unto him, Sir, hast not 
thou taught tis, that a Bridegroom is free from saying over his 
Phylacteries the first Nights Hee saith unto them, / will not 
hearken unto you, to lay from mcc the yoke of the Kingdo?ne of 
Heaven, no, not one Hour. 

THE XXIVth YEAR OF MY AGE. 

12 d. 12 w. 1685. This Day, thro' the good Hand of 
God upon mee, I finish the Twenty-third Year of my Age. 

And this Day, I ga\'e one of my first Visits, unto a >oung 
Gentlewoman, the Daughter of worthy, pious, and credible 
Parents, in Charlestown; unto an Acquaintance with whom, 
the Wonderful Providence of God, in Answer to many 
Prayers, directed mee.^ 

I propounded unto myself, the Methods, the divine and 
sacred Methods, wherein the glorious Lord Jesus Christ, 
engaged our immortal Souls unto Himself; and I studied 
how to nfeke my Addresses unto my Friend analogous unto 
those. But, alas, wherewithal shall a young Man cleanse his 
Way? 

Moreover, for a whole Quarter of a year, now ensuing, I 
think, I did lett scarce one Week pass mee, without a Day 

' Rabbi Gamaliel, a Pharisee and Jewish doctor of the law living at Jerusalem 
in the first century, and the preceptor of Saint Paul. He died about 88 a.d. 

' In the margin is written: "ABIGAH., the Happy Daughter of JOHN, and 
KATHARIN PHttlPS." 

[121] 

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122 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

oj Prayer unto the Lord: for the good Success of the AflFayr 
wherein I was engaged: and lest any Unholiness might gain 
upon my Heart. And, I beleeve, never any sinful Man, 
saw more sensible Answers to Prayer, than poor I did, in 
this matter. 

While I was in this conversation, even in the month of 
March, 1686, there befell mee, an imexpected Thing, which 
was the occasion of my being shown unto Israel. A poor 
condemned Malefactor ' did on March 6. Saturday, beg of 
mee, to preach a suitable Sermon for him on the Day 
following. Accordingly, tho' I should have spent the whole 
Sabbath at Charlstown, my Father answered that Engage- 
ment for mee, in the former Part of the Day. So, in our 
Congregation at Boston, I preached, that Morning to a vast 
Concourse of People, with a great Assistence of Heaven, on 
Isa. 45. 22.' Administring also the Lord's-Supper, in the 
room of my absent Father.' But in the Afternoon, I went 
myself over to Charlstown, and, tho' excessively tired, I 
again preached there. Now, it pleased God, that the people, 
throughout the Countrey, very greedily desired the Publica- 
tion of my poor Sermon; and so, in the Midst, between 
my Father and Mr. Moodeyes, (which three, were the three 
last of them that the Malefactor heard) my mean Sermon 
came abroad; and I, a sorry Youth, in conjunction with two 
of the venerablest Men in the Land, had an Opportunitie, 
most publickly to invite men, \mto such Closures with the 
Lord Jesus Christ, as I myself had privately been f)ractising 
for many years.* 

' James Morgan, condemned to die for murder. On the same day (March 6) 
he acknowledged the sinfulness of his life and the justness of the Court's sentence, 
and desired longer time to live, which was denied. 

' "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, 
and there is none else." 

•See Sewall, Diary, i. uj; Magnolia, Bk. vi. 40. 

* A Sermon Occasioned by the Execution of James Morgan, preached at 
Boston by Increase Mather, March 11, 1685, Boston, 1686; followed by Tkt 
Call of the Gospel, by Cotton Mather; and An Exhorlalion, by Joshua Moodey. 

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MARCH, 1685-86 123 

The Book sold exceedingly; and I, hope did a World 
of Good. It is entitled, The Call of the Gospel. 

There has been since, a second Edition of the Book, 
with a Copy of my Discourse with the poor Malefactor 
walking to his Execution added at the End.' 

About this Time also, I endeavoured the Service of the 
Church, by procuring an Impression of my Father's Dis- 
courses, about The Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, 
by my poor means also, a Book of another Minister in 
the Town, about Buying the Truth,^ came to see the Light. 
In this Time, namely, on 

6d. im. [March] I thus managed a SELF-EXAMI- 
NATION. 

O My Soul! 

Q. I. How art thou affected imto all Crea/Mf&s? 

It answers, I never found any Happiness in them. 

I reckon them, to bee all so many Lies, filled with Vanitie 
and Vexation. 

I cannot bear the Thoughts of being putt off with a 
Portion in them. 

I lothe in myself the irregular Appetites of my carnal 
Mind after them; desiring nothing more than the Cure of 
those Distempers in mee. 

Q. 2. How art thou affected, unto God, the great God! 

It answers, I count, that His loving Kindness is better 
than Life; His Favour will make Amends for the most 
afflicted Condition in the World. 

I count that His Commandments are all holy, and just, 
and good, wishing for nothing more, than that my Wayes 
may bee directed unto the Keeping of them. 

I coimt, that His Glory, most righteously challenges all 

'The same sermons, Boston, 1687, followed, on pp. 115-124, by Cotton 
Mather's Discourse of the Minister with James Morgan on the Way to his 
Execution. This paragraph is written in the margin. 

• Heavenly Merchandize; Or The Purchasing of Truth Recommended, by 
Samuel Willard. Boston, 1686. 

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124 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

that I am, or have, or can; being in a most raging Disquiet- 
ment of Soul, until I see this, as the chief End, swallowing 
up ray All. 

Q. 3. How art thou affected unto the Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Dearest Lord? 

It answers, I count Him to bee precious, and altogether 
lovely. I count, nothing too desirable, to bee parted withal, 
for an Interest in Him. 

I count all His Offices and Kindnesses, and every Part 
of His great Salvation, to bee the welcomest Things imagi- 
nable. O lett Him bee mine, and mee bee His; this, this, 
this, is all my salvation, and all my Desire! 

20. d 1. m. On this which was one of the Dayes of 
Prayer kept by mee, in my Study, I particularly addressed 
the God of Heaven, that I might have a comfortable Habi- 
tation provided for mee, and that the Lord, my glorious 
Master, would afford mee, aU Conveniencies, without the 
Distresses and the Temptations, which Poverty does expose 
unto. 

In the prosecuting of this Request, I professed imto the 
Lord, that I count myself unworthy of the least Bitt of 
Bread; that I must own, I have gi\en way to the Lusts, 
whereof Penury is the just punishment; that nevertheless, 
I putt my Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose I am, and 
whom I serve continually, for a hberal Suppl}', of all Necessi- 
ties. I professed hercwithal, that if the Lord would give 
mee to find much Kindness, from the People, that I am 
labouring among, it should bee a strong Engagement unto 
mee, to do the Duties of my Place; but that tho' I mett with 
never so much of Sorrow, and Hardship, and Unkindmss, 
I would yett endeavour to bee as diligent, in serving Him, 
and them, as if I had mett with None at all. 

I never yett spoke one Word unto my Church, about my 
Salary. I never made any Agreement, or Overture with 
them about it, or ask'd them to do for mee. But I cast that 
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APRIL, 1686 125 

Matter, upon the Care of my glorious Lord Jesus Christ, 
in whose Work, I am employ'd. 

Tis not imfit in this place also to bee inserted; that the 
neighbouring INIinisters, did a little before this Time, take 
up a Custome, to keep (with their Wives) whole Dayes of 
Prayer together, at each other's Houses. 

And the' I were a yoimg Man, yett Owner of neither 
Wife nor House, nevertheless, they did mee the Honour, 
to meet and fast, at my Study, on 21 d. 2 m. [April] when 
I preached unto them, on Gen. 32. 26. 

About this Time also, having seen a poor young Minister ' 
terribly stigmatized for his Misdemeanours, by a Council, 
whereof I was myself a Member, I thought; 

What if God should single mee out now to bee so publickly 
loaded with Shame for Sin? 

To this my Soul, with a wonderful Transport, gave this 
Answer; 

"Ah! Lord; If I must bee filled with utmost Confusion, 
and bee made the Gazing-stock of the World, yett, if I may 
procure thereby, more of a Reputation unto the Wayes, and 
the Truths, and the Worship, and the Kingdonic, of the 
ever-dearest Lord Jesus Christ, I submitt myself; here I 
am, lett the Lord to do to mee what seemeth Him good; I will 
take pleasure in His Glory, tho' I become a Vessel wherein 
Hee will have no Pleasure. Yett I do beleeve, O Lord, I 
beleeve, that Thou wilt make mee a Vessel of Honour, unto 
Thyself." 

I confessed unto the Lord, that my Sins had made mee 
worthy to bee left unto the sorest, vilest, blackest Blemishes 
in my Reputation; but I was afeared, that I desired a spot- 
less Credit, meerly for the sake of my being in a better 
Capacitie to serve the Lord, Jesus Christ. Hereupon, I 

'Probably Rev. Thomas Cheever, of Maiden. See Corey, History of Maiden, 
267. The Council, of which Cotton Mather was a member, gave its decision 
April 7. Sewall, Diary, n. 21. * 

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126 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

said before the Lord, that if His Honour would not bee 
impaired by my Reproche, but promoted and advanced by 
it, I was content that my Name should bee made as odious 
as Hee would please to have it made in the World.a®-But 
while I was thinking so, the Lord gloriously told mee, that 
Hee would honour mee, and sett mee on High because I had 
known His Name. 

One Day this Month, I likewise had Opportimities to 
write, this Remark: 

I have some Cause to think, that there are Persons in 
this Place, who have a very low and mean Opinion of mee, 
and perhaps an undue Prejudice against mee. But I find 
my Heart strangely filled with kind, loving, tender Affections 
towards those very Persons: I feel a sensible Pitty and Can- 
dour in mee, extending itself towards them. Thanks bee to 
God, for this unspeakable Gift. I rejoice in such a Smile 
of Heaven, upon my Soul, more than in the good Will of 
all the Creatures in the World. And while I am thus 
affected, I find another deUghtful Temper, which the good 
Spirit of God has now at last, raised mee imto. I find a Joy, 
at the Respect, which other Persons receive at the Hands 
of God or Man; even as if it were bestowed upon myself. 

These Words I once also had before the Lord: 

" Lord, of all the Plagues in the World, I beseech Thee, 
do not suffer this to come upon mee, that I should bee a 
Vessel of Dishonour to thee, or that I should cause thy 
Religion to bee in any wise evil-spoken of. Now, that I 
may not behave myself unsuitably to so great a Favour as 
this, I purpose, in thy strength, to bee exceedingly tender, 
careful, just and kind about the Reputation of aU other 
Persons; never uttering any reprocheful Thing of any one 
whatsoever, unless it bee not only true in itself, but also 
proper and uscfid to bee mentioned." 

On Tuesday, 4 (f. 3 w. [May], I was married , and the 
good Providence of God caused my Wedding to be attended 
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MAY, 1686 127 

with many Circumstances of Respect and Honour, above 
most that have ever been in these parts of the World.' 

In the Morning of my Wedding-Day, the Lord filled my 
Soul, while secretly at prayer before Him, with ccelestial 
and imutterable Satisfactions, flowing from the sealed Assur- 
ances of His Love unto mee. And my Heart was particu- 
larly melted into Tears, upon my further Assurances that 
in my married Estate, Hee had reserves of rich and great 
Blessings for mee. 

After this, going over to Charlstown, and having some 
Liesure-Time there, before the Arrival of the Neighbouring 
Ministers, and other persons of Qualitie, expected, I carried 
my Bible with mee, into the garden; where I singled out, 
the story of the Wedding in the second Chapter of John, and 
fetched for myself, one Observation, and one Supplication, 
out of every Verse in that Story :S®" In the doing whereof, 
I received fxirther Assurances from the Spirit of my Heavenly 
Lord, tftat I was Blessed, and should bee Blessed by Eim for- 
ever. 

The next Sabbath, I preached at Charlstown on Psal. 
17. 14, Whose portion is in this Life; being myself imder 
the Fear of being putt of, with a Portion here; now I had 
received so good an one, in, as well as with, my Consort. 

The next Sabbath after that, I preached at Boston, on 
Psal. 119. 14 [24?], Divine Delights. 

One Passage which I took the Liberty to use, in that 
Sermon, I will in this place transcribe: "Oh! that the God 
of Heaven would effectually perswade every Person here, 
every Day without fail, to read a Portion in the Bible. 
But, I wish that you would read it, not customarily, but 
with suitable Observations, and Applications, and Ejacula- 
tions, during the whole Exercise. I freely profess unto 

• "Mr. Cotton Mather married Mrs. [Abigail] Phillips before Major Richards 
(Mr. Russell and Capt. Hutchinson also present.) 'Tis said was a great Wed- 
ding, but Eliakim not bidden." Sewall, Diary, i. 136. 

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128 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

you, for my own Part, that all the Delights which I have ever 
enjoy'd for these three and twenty years in the World, are 
not comparable to those, which a Chapter in the Bihle has 
thus brought unto mee." ' 

Several Months after this, I resided at the House of my 
Father-in-Law, with my dearest Consort, in CJmrlstown; 
(going over on the Lord's-Dayes to preach at Boston.) 

And here, besides my Studies to bee serviceable imto 
every Soul in the Family, whereto I was now become related, 
there occurr'd little nnv, to bee remark'd, in the Steps of 
my Life. 

The Methods of glorifying the Lord, heretofore con- 
trived and mentioned, had little ncn', added unto them. 

But, one Thing I will mention. 

As the Effect of a Contrivance and an Experience, where 
to I was myself now attaining, I did, in a Sermon, on 2. Pet. 
I. 4. utter these Passages: 

"Let it bee a main Part of your Business, every Day, to bee apply- 
ing of the Promises. There are certain Promises, that are of con- 
tinual use, in the Christian s daily Walk: and for my own Part, I wish 
that I may not wilUngly lett many Hours of a Day pass mee, without 
some delightful Reflections on several of them. 

"Every Day, you will have Occasion, for a Promise of a Supply 
for all your Wants, in the Day. Such an one is that, in Phil. 4. 19. 
God will supply all your Needs. 

"Every Day, you will have occasion for a Promise of Grace, to 
manage the Day for the Glory of God. Such an one is that in Zech. 
10. 12. / will strengthen them in the Lord, they shall walk up and down 
in Eis Name; saith the Lord. 

"Every Day, you will ha\c occasion for a Promise of a growing 
Victory over Sin. Such an one is that in Mic. 7. 19. Hcc will subdue 
our hiiijuilics. 

"Every Day, you should ha\ c a Promise of Success in your Under- 

' Mather makes no mention of the hmdinR of Randolph on May 14, 1686, 
bringing with him the judgment against the Massiichusctls charter, and of the 
ceremonies which closed the charter gu\crnment of the Colony. Sec Sewall, 
Diary, i. 137. 

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SEPTEMBER, 1686 I29 

takings. There is one in Psal. i. 3. Whatsoever hee doth, shall 
prosper. 

"Every Day, you should have a Promise of Protection from your 
Dangers. There is one in Psal. 91. 10. No Evil shall bejel thee. 

"Every Day, you should have a Promise of Council in your Diffi- 
culties. It is to bee found, in Psal. 32. 8. / wiU instruct thee, and I 
will teach thee, in the way, which thou shouldest go. 

"Every Day, twere worth the while you should have a Promise, 
of not being the Worse, by whatever happens to you. You have it 
in Rom. 8. 28. All things shall work together for good. 

"Every Day, you can't bee without a Promise of eternal Happi- 
ness, in case you are taken out of the World. Here it is, in Luc. 12. 32. 
It is your Father's good pleasure, to give you the Kingdome. 

"Oh! Bee almost every Hour of the Day, glancing at such 
Promises as those. Tis Heaven upon Earth, to bee doing so!" 

But the Methods of Religion, which the Spirit of the Lord 
has heretofore taught mee, were the most, that now, for 
some considerable while, I contented myself withal. And I 
wish that thro' my slothful and carnal Disposition, some of 
those also had not begun to wither with mee. 

At length, returning to Boston, I took an House, wherein 
my Father lived, in the years 1677, and 78. and wherein my 
more childish Age had made many Hundreds of Prayers unto 
the God of Heaven. I could not but observe the Providence 
of God, in ordering my Comforts now, in those very Rooms, 
where I had many years before, sought Him with my 
Prayers. 

In the beginning of September, I dreamt that in a Room 
with other Gentlemen tnere was my inend Mr. Shepard of 
Charlstown, whom yett i n my sleep, I knew to bee dead . 
I dreamt that being somewhat shye of him^on that accoimt, 
I was contriving to slip out of the Room; whereupon Hee 
nimbly coming up with mee, took mee by the Hand, and said, 
Syr, you need not hee so shie of mee, for you shall quickly bee 
as I am, and where I am. I was presently taken, with a Fit 
of my Ephialtes,^ which almost killed mee. But I was 

' A nightmare. 

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130 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

immediately upon this, arrested with so violent a cold, as 
threatened mee with a mortal Feavour. 

In this my Illness, the Lord overcame for mee, the Fears 
of Death; I apprehended not such Ghasthness therein, as 
heretofore ; I could not but say, that I felt in my own Soul, 
the Foretasts and Earnests of life eternal. 

But in the Week following my Disease was mercifully 
removed, sooner than I expected. 

Being now settled in a Family of my own, where I am 
surroimded with all the Blessings of Goodness, I did. On 
lid. 7 w. [September], sett apart a Day, to bee spent in 
secret Thanksgiving unto God. 

The former part of the Day, I did, with some Raptures 
of Soul, employ in these Exercises. 

I pray'd, as usually, at my Entrance into my study. I 
read, a Portion in the Word of God. I read, and prayed and 
praised, with my Family. After this, I assay'd on my 
knees to confess my own Unworthiness of the least Mercy, 
before the Lord. Hereupon, I laid out a large Measure of 
Time, in considering some Collections of Texts which repre- 
sent the Glory of God, in His Nature, Trinitie and Attributes, 
and wonderful Works of Creation and Providence; and the 
Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His Natures, Person, Offices, 
Life, Death, Resurrection and Exaltation: still dwelling upon 
the Scriptures that exhibited these things unto mee, with 
innumerable Ejaculations and multiplied Hosannahs and 
Hallelujahs, magnifying the most High, till Failure of 
Strength engaged mee to break off. 

The latter Part of the Day, was given to such Exercises 
as these, 

I sang what was pertinent. On my knees, I acknowledge 
unto the Lord, His old Mercies, as I could call them to mind; 
and His Kindnesses also, in my present, Life, Health, Im- 
provement, Learning, Library, Utterance, Reputation, Settle- 
ment, and the like; and in the Welfare of my Friends, of our 
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SEPTEMBER, 1686 I3I 

church, and of the Land. Afterwards, on my knees again 
I blessed the God in Heaven, for Pwo Dispensations of His, 
which I have alwayes been under; namely His Hearing of 
my Supplications, and His Keeping of mee from Tempta- 
tions. I blessed Him also, for His bestowing on mee, a 
good Thing, a Meet Help, an extremely desireable Companion 
for my Joyes and Griefs, and setting the Desolate in a Family. 
I blessed Him, lastly, for spiritual and eternal Blessings; 
for which, I hope, my Spirit shall bless Him, throughout 
everlasting Ages. 

In fine, I thought upon some. Returns of Gratitude, and 
I sang my Hymn of high Attainments; and concluded with 
Prayer. 

The Returns then thought upon were these. 

I. One of the Services most nearly now incimibent on 
mee, is, to study what I can, that the Soul of my dear Con- 
sort, may bee saved with spiritual and eternal Salvation. 
To this End, besides what may bee done, by Conference 
and Exemple, I would use daily Prayer, with her, a^ well as 
for her, in Retirements. 

II. And I would bee at some further Pains, in helping 
my gracious and honoured Father-in-law, to bee very ser- 
viceable in His Generation. I would not only, ask his 
Acceptance of some very savoury Books, which may have 
this Tendencie; but also spend some Time with him, in 
contriving how to glorify God. 

Moreover, about this Time, for the Service of God in 
my Neighbourhood, I began this Custome. 

I lett it bee known, unto some of the Neighbours who 
wanted it, that I was willing to entertain them, for an Hour 
on the Lord's-Day Evenings, with Prayers and Psalms and 
a Repetition of the Sermons preached in the Day. Where- 
upon, there was indeed such an imexpected Resort unto my 
House, that there was ordinarily near an hundred People at 

a Time, (and more than one Room could hold) who cheer- 
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132 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

fully attended these Exercises. I hope, the Sabbath was 
better spent among Scores of People, and the Souls of many 
were awakened and edified by this my laborious Undertaking. 

I continued this Custome until being left altogether 
alone in my public Labours, for the Sabbath, I had no longer 
Strength to continue it.' 

There happened another Thing to mee, in the Summer 
now running, which had in it something, that I had Reason 
to think upon. 

Sermons, at the Artillery-Elections, in this coimtrey, 
have been things of considerable Observation. I was near 
being chosen to preach one, at the Artillery Election, in 
Boston, the last Spring, but I took some Satisfaction, I hope, 
in being overlookt, as to that Choice. Nevertheless, a 
very imexpected Thing of that kind, befel mee, before the 
Summer was out: For the ArtiUery-Company of Middles- 
sex this year, did a new Thing, in ordering their Anniversary 
Solemnities to bee at Charlstown, and not at Cambridge; 
and they did another new Thing, in choosing, as they never 
did before or since, a Minister not belonging imto their 
own County, to bee their Preacher; and this was my poor 
self. So, on 13 d. 7 w. I preached, at Charlstown, imto a 
very great Assembly, a Sermon which was afterwards 
printed, under the Title of Military Duties.' And thus, 
having had a little while ago, an Opportunitie, to print, for 
the Publicans, I had now the further Part of the signalizing 
Advantage that John Baptist had, in an Opportunitie, to 
tell the Soiddiers also, what they are to do. 

On II d.gm.' I sett apart another Day, for secret 
Thanksgivings, before the Lord. 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. 

• His text was Ps. 144. i, and he made a "very good discourse," according 
to Scwall. "The Artillery Company had like to have been broken up; the ani- 
mosity so high between Charlestown and Cambridge Men about the Place of 
Training. Were fain at last to vote the old Officers to stand for next year, in 
general." Sewall, Diary, i. 131. The sermon was printed by Richard Pierce. 

• A blot has covered the month, but I believe it to be the ninth. 

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NOVEMBER, 1686 I33 

I devoted the Time, especially unto three Things; be- 
sides the usual religious Exercises of every Day. 

1. I endeavoured in Prayer both in my Retirement and 
in my Family, to magnify the great God! 

The Expressions of His Goodness, which Hee hath [ '] ved 
mee withal. In the former part of the Day, I celebrated 
the old Mercies of God unto mee; the Mercies of my Par- 
entage, the Mercies of my Vocation; the Mercies of my 
Praeservation, and the Mercies of my Employment, and Im- 
provement. In the latter Part of the Day, I took Notice 
of the Mercies which I am at present surrounded with: 
particularly my spiritual Mercies, my Ministry Mercies, 
and my family Mercies. To which Exercises, I annexed 
the singing of Psalms, and Hymns, agreeable. 

2. I went from Room to Room in my House, deliberately 
looking upon the distinct Parcels of the Estate, whereof I am 
now become the Owner, or as I should rather say, the 
Steward. And with a ravished Soul, I gave every Thing 
back to God, variously contriving, and so declaring, how all 
that I have should bee made serviceable unto His Glory. 

3. I meditated, upon my usual Quaestion, What shall I 
now do for God? 

Which I thus answered: 

I. The Common-Prayer-Worship now being sett up in 
this Coimtry,' I would procure and assist the Publication 

» A blot. 

' The service was i ntroduced by Rand olph, and confirmed by And ros, who 
sought to obt ain the existing church buildings for holdinf^ the serv ices: but the 
mi nisters, Increase Mather among them, protes ted, ^and the Town House w as 
used. Rev. Robert Ratcliffe, the first Episcopal minister settled in New England, 
was selected by the Lord Bishop of London, and recommended to the inliabitants 
by the Privy Council for a "kinde entertainment and sutable maintenance." 
He was a graduate of Oxford, and Dunton thought him an "extraordinary good 
preacher." He held service in the Town House, and drew many to him from 
curiosity, a Chiirch of England assembly being a decided novelty in the Province. 
The treatment accorded to him was not wholly what the Privy Coimcil could 
accept. Some called him Baal's priest, and some of the ministers of the town 
speaking in their pulpits, called the prayers of the service "leeks, garlic and trash." 
See Edward Randolph (Prince Society), Andros Tracts, and Winsor, Memorial 

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134 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

of a Di scourse written by my Fat her, that shall enlighten 
the ri sing Generatio n, in the Unlawfuln ess of that Worship, 
and antidote them against Apostasy from the Principles of 
our First Settlement. 

II. And I would prosecute the Pubhcation of the like 
Testimony against several other Superstitions that are now 
creeping in, upon the rising Grneration. 

I have mett with little else this Year, that I have had 
Heart or Time, to record. Only one. 

?>d. II m. [January.] I kept a secret FAST before the 
Lord, 

Especially to implore this Favour of God, that whereas, 
I suppose, my dear consort may bee now with Child, the 
Infant conceived by her may bee an Holy Thing, and For 
['] by the blessed Spirit of God, and that the Lord 

would carry her to and thro' the Time of her Travel. 

I also prosecuted these Designs. 

I. As I would show all the Kindness that I can, unto 
the French Refugees arrived in this Countrey, so I wovdd 
earnestly recommend it unto their Ministers to awaken 
that People unto a greater Obsen,'ation of the Lord's Day; 
by the Neglect whereof they had given too much of Scandal.' 

History of Boston, i. 200. Increase Mather's book was A Brief Discourse con- 
cerning the Unlawfulness of the Common Prayer Worship, but was issued without 
his name. 

Mather represented the stronp feeling among the churches of Boston against 
the Church of England. The abuse and prutcst were not confined to pamphlets, 
the clergyman was openly affronted and threats made of tearing down the newly 
built church, of converting it into a school, or of turning it over to the French 
Protestants. Palmer, An J m partial Account of the State of .Yr.c England, 33. 
The unknown writer of Nrw Englatid's Faction Discorrred (1690), knew that Cotton 
Mather was responsible for the printing and publishing of this, to him, "most 
scandalous Pamphlet," and CoUon and others were bound over to answer charges 
of favoring faction and rebellion, when the "revolution" in New England inter- 
vened. Andros Tracts, II. 211. 

' Obscured by a blot. 

'The Edict of Nantes had been revoked October 17, i68s, and brought to 
an end the hope of enjoying any religious freedom in France. By 1684 more 
than two thirds of the French Protestant churches had been closed, and the revo- 

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JANUARY, 1686-87 135 

II. I will perswade several Gentlemen belonging unto 
our Congregation, to combine into a private Meeting, Wherein 
they shall, once a Fortnight, seek the Face and hear the 
Word of God, in their several Families together; as they 
ly in Order; and as at every other Meeting, I will carry on 
their Exercises, thus I will endeavour to make this an 
Opportunitie, for mentaining of Love, and all the other 
Instances of ReUgion, in the Members of the Meeting. 

(They had their first Meeting at my House.) 

III. Several religious Families there are among us, not 
yett joined unto any of the private Meetings in our Neigh- 
boiurhood; I would therefore address them, to gett into 
this way of their Edification. 

rV. I plainly see, that from the public Prayers which I 
make in our Congregation, my Hearers take Exemple, for 
their own private Prayers. Oh! then, lett mee therein bee 
so affectionate, so argumentative, so instructive, as intend- 
ing to sett an Exemple for their Devotions. 

V. When any ofifer themselves imto the Communion of 
our Church, I would with much Fervency and Frequency, 
implore the Directions of Heaven about it, before I do 
admitt them. 

(I have seen a marvellous Providence of God, by strange 
Accidents, hindring the Irruptions of Communicants into 
our Church, that afterwards proved unsound; in Answer to 
such Prayers and Cares.) 

VI. Before my Morning Prayers, I would still read a 

cation of the Edict withdrew the last shadow of protection. Although emigra- 
tion of laymen was prohibited, the movement out of France was immense, and 
a part found refuge in America. They came to Massachusetts by way of the 
West Indies, in a most wretched and destitute condition. See Winsor, Memorial 
History of Boston, n. 250. 

In his Wonders of the Invisible World, p. 20, Mather asserts that the "late 
French Persecution is perhaps the horriblest that ever was in the World: And as 
the Devil of Mascon seems before to have meant it in his out-cries upon the Mis- 
eries preparing for the poor Bugonots I Thus it has been all acted by a singular 
Fury of the old Dragon inspiring of his Emissaries." 

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136 DIAEY OF COTTON MATHER 

Chapter or Part of a Chapter, in my Family, and compose 
my Prayers out of it. 

But before my Evening-Prayers, I would single out some 
Text of Scripture, and make a short Meditation upon it. 
In this Way, I may go thro' a Body of Divinitie; and whole 
Chapters of the Bible; if God spare my Life. 

(I did so; and sometimes I also read in the Evenings, from 
some Treatise; that I judged suitable.) 

A nd thus, the good Hand of God brings mee, to the End 
of my twenty-fourth Year.' 

' "We shall do well to remember the situation in which he found himself at 
the age of twenty-five. Full of traditional belief in the Divine authority of his 
professional work, he was left, by the absence of his father on the most important 
public business ever yet confided to a native of New England, in full charge of 
one of the greatest churches in America. There is no reason to doubt that, accord- 
ing to the standard of his time, he was a scholar unapproacbed by any one of his 
age: that is, he had read more books than anybody else, he was reading more 
day by day, and he was already launched in that career of authorship which made 
him at last the most volimiinous of American writers. And the state of public 
affairs, bringing theocracy and democracy for the moment into complete accord, 
and throwing political as well as spiritual leadership once more — and for the 
last time — chiefly into the hands of the clergy, gave his words and actions such 
public authority as he never enjoyed again. All the while, too, there is every 
reason to believe that his ecstatic prayers and fastings kept him in what he never 
doubted was direct communication with the angels of God." Wendell, Cotton 
Mather, 79. 

Bewail in his Diary, i. 342, makes the following minute of a sermon by Mather. 
"March 19, i6go-i. Mr. C. Mather preaches the Lecture from Mat. 24., and 
appoint his portion with the Hypocrites: In his proem said, Toliu mundus ogit 
histrionem. Said one sign of a hypocrit was for a man to strain at a Gnat and 
swallow a Camel. Sign in's Throat discovered him; To be zealous against an 
innocent fashion, taken up and used by the best of men; and yet make no Con- 
science of being guilty of great Immorahties. Tis supposed means wearing of Perri- 
wigs: said would deny themselves in any thing but parting with an opportunity to 
do God service; that so might not offend good Christians. Meaning, I suppose, 
was fain to wear a Perriwig for his health. I exp>ected not to hear a vindication 
of Pcrriwigs in Boston Pulpit by Mr. Mather; however, not from that Text." 

Mather's MS. Record of the Second Church, n. begins with an entry for 
December 8, i68g. This record is chiefly composed of admissions, baptisms, and 
dismissals; but there arc occasional entries of discipline and church business. The 
following will bring the record to the beginning of 1692: 

"2d. 12m. [February, 1689-90.) The Church this Day, having voted a 
Letter to my Father, desired Major Richards, Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Foster, Mr. 
Clark, to join with myself, in signing it. 

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MAY, 1690 137 

To Increase Mather. 

[Return to N. E.] 

May 17, 1690. 
Sir, — Tis not a little Trouble unto mee, to find your so speedy 
and sudden an Inclination in you, to such a Dishonourable Thing, 
as, Your not Returning to N. E., where you have such measures of 
Respect and Esteem, as no person in this part of America, ever had 
before you; and where the Sleights, which you have thought cast 
upon you are but so Imaginary. 

" 2$ d. 3 m. [May, 1690.] This Day, at the Lord's Table, I endeavoured to 
furnish every Communicant with my Companion for Communicants. (Printed in 
1690, by S. Green for B. Harris.] 

"nd. 2 m. [April, 1691.] At a Church meeting, voted, that Captn. Danitl 
Turd, and Lieut. Richard Way be desired and emjjowered, they or either of them, 
in the Name of the Church, to look after the Arrears due to this Church, on account 
of the Legacy of i^lb per Annum, bequeathed by Captn. Scarlet Deceased; and 
to prosecute the Executors of John Jacob deceased, for those Arrears. 

"Voted, that Major John Richards, Mr. Adam Winthrop, Mr. John Foster, 
do in the name of this Church, make and sign an Instrument, enabling Mr. Turel 
and Mr. Way to act as Atturneyes for the Church in the Afiayr above mentioned. 

"Voted, that Lieut. Way, Mr. Gill, Mr. Rober, and Mr. Barnard, bee desired 
to take the Care of seating Persons in the Meeting-house. 

"Voted, that the Pastor bee desired to take what care hee shall judge proper, 
in choosing and settling fitt persons, for the Inspection of the Children in the 
Meeting-house. 

"Voted, that Mr. Turel, Mr. Barnard, Mr. Goodwin, bee a Committee to 
inspect the condition of the Meeting-house, as to any want of Repairs in it, and 
act accordingly. 

" 19 d. 3 m. [May] At a Church meeting, voted, that Major Richards, Mr. 
Winthrop, Mr. Foster, Mr. Coleman, Mr. Keach, Mr. Greenough, Mr. Howard, 
bee a Committee, with Mr. Turel and Mr. Way, to act for the Church in the 
further prosecution of the Recovery of what is due to the Church from the Estate 
of John Jacob deceased. 

" 28 d. 4 m. [June.] Mr. Robert Howard and Mr. Robert Lurst having the 
last Week, given public Scandal, by Words and Blows in a Quarrel between them, 
this day they had their Confession and Repentance readd unto the whole Con- 
gregation. 

"iod.^m. At a Church Meeting, voted, that the Committee chosen on 
19 i. 3 m. to act for the Church, in recovering of what is due to the Church from 
the Estate of John Jacob deceased, continue to act in that Affayr, and in dispos- 
ing to the best Advantage, what has been by Law recovered. 

"84.9 m. [November.] This Day our Congregation made a Collection of 
about forty four pounds for the Releef of the poor Inhabitants in our Frontier 
Towns in the East. 

"id. 11 m.iFebruariL^fxn 92.I, This Day, oui Congregation gathered sixty 

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138 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

La st February, there went hence, Dr. Oaks and Dr. Cook, ou r 
Agent s, to assist Sir Ashurst, and yourself, in what Concerns t he 
affayrs of this poor Countrey. If they are arriv'd, I suppose you have 
long ere this, received satisfaction in those Matters, which I perceived 
touch you with much Displeasure. If they have miscarried, wee are 
the most miserable people in the world; which, God of His mercy 
prevent! ' 

two pounds, odd shillings, for the Redemption of our Captives in the hands of 
the Indians. 

"3d. 2 m. [April, 1692.] Elizabeth Durham having an Infant born within 
five Months after shee was married, made a most poenitent and ingenuous Con- 
fession, and was reconciled unto the Church." 

Mather's Companion for Communicants, printed in 1690, contains adver- 
tisement of three earlier issues by him: i. The Wonderful Works of God Com- 
memorated: in a Thanksgiving Sermon on December 19, 1689. With a Postscript 
giving an Account of the Childrens Prophesies, which has lately happened in 
France. To which is added, a Sermon preached to the Convention of the Massa- 
chusetts-Colony: With a Narrative of several Prodigies which New England 
hath of late had the Alarms of Heaven in. 

2. Speedy Repentance urged: A Sermon preached at Boston, Decemb. 29, 
1689. In the Hearing and at the Request of one Hugh Stone, under a just Sen- 
tence of Death, for a tragical and horrible Murder. With certain Memorable 
Providences relating to some other Murders, and some great Instances of Repent- 
ance which have been seen among us. 

3. The Present State of New England, considered in a Discourse on the 
Necessities and advantages of a PubUck Spirit in every man; especially at such 
a time as this. Made at the Lecture in Boston, March 20, 1690, upon the News 
of an Invasion by bloody Indians and French men begun upon us. All three 
were printed in 1690, the first two at a shilling each (bound), the last, at sixpence 
("stitcbt"). 

' The Diary for the years 1687-1689 is, unfortunately, wan ting. Although 
the record can give little satisfaction upon matters of fact, and is" too closely con- 
fined to expressing his own state of feeling in "piety," the lost years were for 
Cotton of some p olitical activ ity. The measures taken by Sir Edmund Andros 
and Edward Rando lph aroused the opposition of those who had been contented 
in exercising the powers of government under the old charter, and they had no more 
active opponents than the Mathers. In April, 1688, In crease went to Eng land, 
to see what could be done to obtain the recall ol And ros and the restoration of 
the charter. S hortly after occurred the revolution in England, and a like "revo- 
lution" was effected in New England, the chief instruments of the Andros govern- 
ment being seized and, after a long imprisonment, sent to England. Of the part 
taken by Cotton Mather we have two accounts. That by his son is naturally 
' partial, and the style of writing used by Samuel, does not inspire confidence in 
his accuracy or discretion. When intelligence of William's passage from Holland 
to England reached Boston, in April, 1689: 

"The principal Gentlemen in Boston met with Mr. Mather to consult what 
was best to be done; and they all agreed, if possible, that they would extinguish 

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MAY, 1690 139 

This distressed, Enfeebled, mined Coimtrey, have hitherto 
designed nothing but your Honour; they celebrate you as Their 
Deliverer; and have all along Resolved, not only, the Repayment of 
our Debts, which our AfiFayrs in your Hands have made; but also 
such a Requital of all your pains for us, as would have been proper, 
when you should have arrived here, in the way of Receiving it. Per- 

all Essays in our People to an Insurrection; but that if the Country People to 
the Northward by any violent Motions push'd on the Matter so far as to make 
a RemltUion unavoidable, Then to prevent the shedding of Blood by an ungov- 
emed Multitude, some of the Gentlemen present would appear at the Head of 
what Action should be done; and a Declaration was prepared accordingly." On 
April i8th the opportunity came. " 'Twas then Mr. Mather appeared. He 
was the Instrument of preventing the Excesses into which the Wrath of Man is 
too ready to run; He came and like a Nestor or Ulisses reasoned down the Passions 
of the Populace: had he lisped a Syllable for it, perhaps the People would by 
sudden Council of War have try'd, judg'd and hang'd those ill Men, who would 
have treated him otherwise. Nevertheless he set himself both publickly and 
privately to hinder the Peoples proceeding any further than to reserve the Crimi- 
nals for the Justice of the English Parliament." Life of Cotton Mather, 43. 

A less partial, but a better informed writer, Robert Calef . states, tha t on 
the seizu re of Andros it was confidently believed that the old government, t hat 
under . he old charter, would be reassumed, and the old officers restored to the ir 
places That was the general opinion, but the refusal of some again to take office 
aSSe necessary some other plan. Calef says: "It has been an observation of 
long continuance that matters of State seldom prosper, wlien managed by the Clergy. 
Among the opposers of the reassuming few were so strenuous as some of the Min- 
isters, and among the Ministers none more vehement than Mr. Cotton Mather, 
Pastor of the North Church in Boston, who has charged tliem as they would answer 
it another day to reassume. Among his Arguments against it, one was that it 
wo uld be to put a slight upon his Father, who, he said, was in Englatui, labouri ng 
fo r a compleat Restoration of Charter Privil eges, not doubting, but they wou ld 
be speedily obta in'd. Any man that knows New England cannot but be sensible, 
that such Discourses from such Men, have always been very prevalent. And 
hence it was that even those that would think themselves wronged, if they were 
not numbred among the best Friends to New England, and to its Charter, would 
not so much as stoop to take it up, when there was really nothing to hinder them 
from the Enjoyment thereof." The Assembly, after seven weeks of anarc hy, 
proposed that the old o flScers again take the places from which they had be en 
thr usTBy the revocation of the char ter, but a Declaration prepared for the occa- 
sion expressly stated that these officers would not have it understood that t hey 
did reassume charter-Government, an assertion that amazed the people, and 
disa ppointed the depu ties, "who if these naa not promised so to act, had taken 
other care, and put in those that would." More Wonders of the Invisible World. 
It is safe to assume that the reservation that proved so disappointing was largely 
the work of Cotton Mather. I t was then that the Assembly appointed a 
me mber from each House to go to England, and the choice fell upon Thoma s 
O akes and Elisha Coo ke. 

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I40 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

haps our Delayes have been Imprudent, and Ungrateful Things; but 
place them in a true Light, and you will see that they have been 
purely Necessary. Nor have wee forebom to give you and our 
Friends with you, those Assurances, which you ought rather to com- 
plain for the miscarrying, than the not-sending of.' 

But, have you indeed come to Resolutions of seeing N. E. no more? 
I am sorry for the Countrey the CoUedge, your own church, all which 
Languishes for want of you. I am sorry for your Family, which can- 
not but bee Exposed unto miserable Inconveniendes, in Transporta- 
tion. I am sorry for myself, who am Left alone, in the midst of more 
cares. Fears, Anxieties, than, I beleeve any one pyerson in these Terri- 
tories; and who have just now been within a few minutes of Death, 
by a very dangerous Feavour, the Reliques whereof are yett uf)on mee. 
But I am sorry for my dear Father too, who is, Entred into TemptO' 
lion, and will find snares in his Resolutions. May the God of Heaven 
direct you; and prevent Every Step, which may not bee for the 
Honoiu' of His Blessed Name! 

I confess, that I write with a most 111 boding Jealousy, that I shall 
never see you again in this Evil world; and it overwhelms mee into 
Tears, which cannot bee dry'd up, unless by this Consideration, That 
you will shortly find among the Spirits of Just men made perfect, 

Your Son, 

CM. 

To John Cotton 

Boston. 14 d. 7 m., 1691. 
Rev'd Sir, — The Short and Long, and the Truth, of our Intelli- 
gence from England is, That the K. the Last Day hee was at White- 
hal, declar'd it his Pleasure and Purfwse, that N. E. should have 
Charter Priviledges Restored; Nevertheless (said hee) "I think it 
will bee for the welfare of that people, if I send over a General, or a 
Governour, to unite the Territory, and inspect the Militia of it. 
However (added hee) I will not send any person, but one that shall 
bee acceptable to that people, and Recommended by their Agents 
here." This notwithstanding, the Clerk of the Council made a false 

' "Some Friends of mine in Enflami who were very willing I should spend 
the remainder of My days amongst them, told me, that they had bin informed 
that the People of Nrw England were always ungrateful to their Publick Ser\'ants, 
and that altho' they knew I had with Industry and Fidelity served them to the 
utmost of ray Capacity, they doubted, whether they would be sensible of it or 
no." Increase Mather's statement, prefixed to Great Blessing of Primitive Coun- 
selloun. 

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SEPTEMBER, 169I I4I 

Entry of the Kings Order, as if wee were to bee settled Like Barbados, 
etc., at which our Tories there grew mighty brisk.' But before the 
month was out, they grew down in the mouth. The clerk's forgery 
was discovered, and by Order, our Charter was finished (tho not yett 
sealed) by which our Colony, unto which the Eastern parts are added, 
have power to choose D. Govemour and Assistants and all General 
OflBcers, on the Last Wednesday, of every May; only the K. Reserves 
to himself, the Liberty of sending a General, for all the united Colonies; 
who nevertheless, will have no power to do any thing in our Colony 
without the Concurrence of our own Magistrates; nor can any Lawes, 

* Mather appears to have unaccountably confused two incidents in this struggle 
for a charter. On April 30, 1691, the Ring stated that he believed it would be 
for the good of his subjects in New England to be under a governor appointed 
by himself; "nevertheless, that he would have the Agents of Nrw England Nom- 
inate a Person that should be agreeable to the Temper and Inclinations of the 
people there; only that, at this time, it was necessary that a Military Man should 
be set over them; and that this notwithstanding, he should have Charter-Privi- 
ledges Restored and Confirmed to them." On the next day he left for Holland, 
and an Order of Council was drawn up intimating " that it was the King's Pleasure 
to have a Govemour of his own Appointing sent to New- England, who should 
have a Negative Voice in all Acts of Government: and that the Maisachusetts 
Colony should be settled on the same Foundation with Borbadoes Sic. And that 
a Charter should be prepared accordingly." Mather protested that this was 
not what the King intended, and appealed to the King, but received no reply. 
The Attorney General prepared the draught of a Charter, which was accepted, 
by the King. Sir William Phips was named Governor, and William Stoughton, 
deputy. Andros Tracts, n. 279 £[. 

The "forgery" by a clerk may relate to an earlier incident, published in t688: 
"Besides this, Mr. Increase Mather, with two New-England Gentlemen, pre- 
sented a Petition and humble Proposals to the King, wherein they prayed, that 
the Right which they had had in their Estates before the Government was changed, 
might be confirmed; and that no Laws might be made or money Raised, without 
an Assembly, with sundry other particulars; which the King referred to a Com- 
mittee for Foreign plantations, who ordered them into the hands of the Attoumey- 
General to make his report. The Clerk, William Blatkwait sent to the Attoumey 
General a Copy, wherein the Essential Proposal of an Assembly was wholly left 
out; and being spoke to about it, he said the Earl of Sunderland blotted out that 
with his own hand. Likewise a Solidter in this Cause related that the said Earl 
of Sunderland affirmed to him, that it was by his Advice that the King had given 
a Commission to Sir Edmond Andross to raise moneys without an Assembly, and 
that he knew the King would never consent to an Alteration, nor would he propose 
it to His Majesty." Increase Mather, Narrative of the Miseries of New England, 
9. The mention of Barbadoes is explained by John Palmer's assertion that "Bar- 
bados, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands, and Virginia have their Assemblies: but 
it is not sui juris, 'tis from the grace and Favour of the Crown, signified by Letters 
Patents under the Broad Seal." Impartial Account of the State of New England, 19. 

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142 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

bee made, or Taxes Levied, without a General Court. There are 
several Additional Priviledges in this charter which make it better 
than our old one; and our friends in England express much Satisfac- 
tion in it. This is now Like to bee our settlement; but I suppose, 
Plymouth, which is so wonderfully Sottish, as to take tw Care of itself, 
is Like to bee throvm in as a Province, which the Governour may have 
particular Instructions about} The [King] you know choosing our 
Magistrates for the first year, most of our old ones, are pitch'd on; 
some New ones are added, whose N"ames tis needless to mention; and 
Mr. Stoughton will bee the first D. Governour. The Governour of 
the whole I suppose, I know, but, multa cadunl inter calicem supremo- 
que Ldbra. 

I suppose, per my next, I shall send you, my LitUe Flocks guarded 
against Grievous Wolves} Heaven guard us all, from all sorts of them. 
Remember mee, to my Relations with you, and pray for. Sir, Your 
kinsman and servt. 

Mather.' 
To John Cotton. 

Boston, Augt. s, 1692. 

Reverend Sir, — Our Good God is working of Miracles. Five 
Witches were Lately Executed, impudently demanding of God, a 
Miraculous Vindicacon of their Innocency. Immediately upon this, 
Our God Miraculously sent in Five Andover-Witches, who made a 
most ample, surprising, amazing Confession, of all their Villainies 
and declared the Five newly executed to have been of their Company; 
discovering many more; but all agreeing in Burroughs being their 
Ringleader, who, I suppwse, this Day receives his Trial at Salem, 
whither a Vast Concourse of people is gone; My Father, this morn- 
ing among the Rest. Since those, there have come in other Con- 
fessors; yea, they come in daily. About this prodigious matter 
my Soul has been Refreshed with some Little short of Miraculous 
Answers of prayer; which are not to bee written; but they comfort 
mee with a prospect of an hopeful Issue. 

The whole Town yesterday, turned the Lecture into a Fast, kept 
in our meetinR-house; God give a Good Return. But in the morning 
wee were Entertained with the horrible Tidings of the Late Earth- 

' It had been proposed to annex Plymouth to New York. 

'This was an attack upon the "modem teachers of the misled Quakers," 
and contained "just Reflections upon the extrcam Ignorance and Wickedness 
of CoorRe Keith." It was printed by Benjamin Harris and John Allen, 1691. 

* This is the original letter endorsed by Cotton. 

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AUGUST, 1692 143 

quake at Jamaica, on the 7th of June Last. When, on a fair Day, the 
sea suddenly swell'd, and the Earth shook, and broke in many places; 
and in a Minutes time, the Rich Town of Port-Royal, the Tyrius of 
the whole EngUsh America, but a very Sodom for Wickedness, was 
immediately swallow'd up, and the sea came Rolling over the Town. 
No less than seventeen hundred souls of that one Town, are missing; 
besides other Incredible Devastations all over the Island, where 
Houses are DemoUshed, Mountains overturned, Rocks Rent, and all 
manner of Destruction inflicted. The N[on] C[onformist] Minister 
there, scap'd wonderfully with his Life. Some of our poor N. E. 
people are Lost in the Ruines, and others have their Bones broke. 
Forty Vessels, were simk, namely all whose Cables did not break; 
but no N. E. ones. Behold, an Accident speaking to all our English 
America. 

I Live in Pains, and want your prayers. Bestow them, dear Sir, 
on Your 

C. Mather. 

What a filthy stir do they keep at Taunton, about their military 
Affayrs: whereof you and I bear most of the blame ! Is it Reason- 
able? 



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1692 



THE XXXth year. 

Foelix Conversatio, in qu4 inimici nullam rejjeriunt 
occasionem, nisi fortfe in Legitimis Dei. Hieron. 

Si Amatur, quomodb infirmatur! Aug. 

It was the Popish Malice, to upbraid Calvin with his 
Diseases. You may see (said they) what hee is by his Dis- 
eases I 

THE XXXth YEAR OF MY AGE. 

1692. 

This Year, finds mee, in my public Ministry, handling 
the Miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ; on the Histories 
whereof, I still gave my Hearers, a Variety of Reflections, 
by way of brief Observation, and Application. But, who can 
tell what miraculous Things, I may see, before this Year 
bee out! 

In the Begiiming of this Year, my Heart being, after 
a poor Manner, sett upon th e Designs of Reformat ion.^ I 
o btained a V ote of our neighbouring Ministers mett . at 
Cambridge: 

"Recommending it as very advisable, that the several 
Churches, having in an Instrument, proper for that Purpose, 
made a Catalogue of such Things, as can indisputably bee 
found amiss among them, do, with all Seriousness, and 

'"Some admirable Designs about the Reformation of Maimers, have lately 
been on foot in the English Nation in pursuance of the most excellent Admoni- 
tions which have been given for it, by the Letters of their Majesties. . . . 
There has been started a Proposal for the well-affected people in every Parish, 
to enter into orderly Socittits." Wonders of the Invisible World, 64. 

[144I 

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APRIL, 1692 145 

Solemnitie, pass their Votes, that they count such Things 
to bee offensive Evils, and renouncing all Dependence on 
their own Strength, to avoid such EvUs, they humbly ask 
the Help of the Divine Grace, to assist them, in watching 
against the said Evils, both in themselves and in one another. 
And that the Communicants, do often reflect upon those 
their Acknowledgments and Protestations, as perpetual Moni- 
tors, imto them, to prevent the Miscarriages, wherewith 
too many Professors are too easily overtaken." 

Accordingly, letters, reporting this Advice, were now 
sent, thro' a considerable Part of the Land. But so mon- 
strous was the Sleepiness upon our Churches, (and Pas- 
tors,) that few of them, did any thing, in pursuance of this 
Advice. 

However, I resolved, that their Lethargy, should bee no 
Excuse for mine. Wherefore having prepared my Church, 
by a solemn and pubUc FAST, (when I twice preached on 
Rom. 13. II.),' I drew up an Listrument, of Acknowledg- 
ments and Protestations, wherein, renewing our Covenant, wee 
declared against sixteen common Evils, which were Trans- 
gressions of it.' 

That I might make this Instrument the more easy, imto 
the dullest Capacitie among them, I did, after a Speech, 
at the Lord's Table, weave it, all into my Prayer before the 
Lord. 

So, on, 10 d. 2 m. [April.] Having first preached unto 
them, on Jer. 44. 10. They solemnly voted it.' And then, 

» "And that knowing the time, that it is high time to awake out of sleep." 

' See Mather to Richards, February 13, 1692, in 4 Collections, vni. 390. 

'"lod. 2 m [April] This day, our Church unanimously signify'd their 
Acceptance of an Instrument, which I laid before them, as containing the Acknowl- 
edgments and Protestations of their souls, and a Recognition of their Obligations, 
by their Covenant, laid upon them, for the revival of practical Godliness among us. 

"And the day after, I sent a little Book to the Press; at the End whereof, 
1 publish a copy of that Instrument, to bee putt into the hands of every Com- 
municant in the Church." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the Second Church, n. 

The "Acknowledgments" occupy pp. 66-71. They glance at current dis- 
turbances as follows: "And being also awakened, by the most heavy Judgements 

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146 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

printing it, with my two Fast-Sermons, (which I called, A 
Midnight Cry) I found a way, to convey the little Book, 
into the Hand of every one of our Communicants.^ 

And now in my Prayers; with my Church, the Lord 
moved mee to utter my Perswasion and Assurance that some 
great Mercy was near to this Flock of His. 

29 d. 2 m. 1692. This Day I spent in secret Humilia- 
tions and Supplications before the Lord; upon the many 
Occasions, which His Providence had given for them: but 
the many continuing Iniquities and Calamities of the Coun- 
trey, were the cheef Things, that brought mee on my 
Knees. 

When I was crying to God this Day, that Hee would 
fill mee with His Holy Spirit, and make mee a Man of an 
excellent Spirit, and help mee to glorify Him, in bringing 
forth of mu£h Fruit, I had my Heart melted with a glorious 
Assurance, that it would bee so. 

I sett myself to recount the abasing Circumstances of 
the Land; and my Soul mourned over them. I wrestled 
with my God, that Hee would awaken these Churches, to 

of Heaven, under which this country has been Weltring and Wasting for many 
later years, to suspect lest in the Hearts and Lives of US in particular, there may 
be found some of those ACCURSED THINGS, which have brought upon the 
Land, such a Long Variety of Sore Calamity:" etc. Sensualities in eating, drink- 
ing and recreation, and extravagancies in apparel, profanation of the Sabbath, 
dishonesty and other sins are mentioned. He seems to have sent the paper in 
its first form to John Richards. 4 Collections, viii. 390. 

'"That the whole World has been generally Asleep for some Thousands 
of Years, and that particular Professors of Religion in this Age of the World are 
ordinarily Asleep all their Dayes, I should therein but utter, A Truth, as horrible, 
aa notorious. As for You, my Dear CharRc. the Office which I sustain towards 
you, is that of a WATCHMAN; and in the discharge of that OflSce, I have here 
put into your hands, another perpetual INSTRUMENT for yom AW AKENING, 
lest when our Lord comes. He find you Sleeping! I have not Published it with 
so much presumption as to propound therein the Direction of any other Churches. 
But I have ordered a SirtaU Impression, that I may fulfil my promise of providing 
for every one of you, a Copy of this your Monitor; so that perhaps I may say of 
this Book, as the Philosopher did of his, 'Tis Published, but scarce made Puhlick." 
Prefatory letter to the Church in the North-part of Boston. He describes his action 
in a letter to John Richards, December 14, 1693, in 4 Collections, vxn. 397. 

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APRIL, 1692 147 

do some remarkable Thing in returning to Him; I also beg'd 
of Him, that Hee would accept of Service at my hands, 
and make a singular Use of mee, in the Awakening of my 
people; I pray'd Him therefore particularly to smile upon 
my little Book, entitled, A Midnight Cry, which is just now 
coming out of the Press. 

This Day, I likewise obtained of God, that Hee would 
make use of mee, as of a John, to bee an Herald of the 
Lord's Kingdome now approching. and the Voice crying 
in the Wilderness, for Preparation thereunto. And I also 
implored the Assistance of God, unto my undertaking to 
write a Book (now, in my Thoughts) accommodated unto 
the Designs of Religion, among the Husbandmen in this 
Countrey. 

But my Prayers did especially insist upon the horrible 
Enchantments, and Possessions, broke forth upon Salem Vil- 
lage; things of a most prodigious Aspect.' A good Issue 
to those things, and my own Direction and Protection there- 
about, I did especially petition for. 

My Health, has been lamentably broken for diverse 
Years,* partly by my excessive Toyle, in the pubUc and 
private Exercises of my Calling, but cheefly, I fear, by my 
Sins against the God of my Health; whence tis, that I have 
been put many Times to preach, when I had been fitter to 
have been in my Bed, and, when that by Sickness I have 
been almost utterly disabled for all preparatory Study, 
yett I have delivered long and hard Sermons, with great 
Assistances to great Congregations, and come easier out of 
the Pulpit, than I went into it. 

But, now Illness and Vapour, with an aguish Indis- 

• Sewall, Diary, 1. 358. Upham, Salem Witchcraft. 

' In apologizing for his unfruitfulncss, Mather wrote in the introduction to 
his Companion for Communicants: "My Readers must remember that these Things 
are but my Blossoms, which 1 do the more vigorously put forth, because whether 
1 consider the Doubtful State of my Health, now twice in less than a Twelve 
Month attack'd with very Fiery Feavers," etc. 

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148 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

position, growes upon mee, at such a rate, that indeed, I 
live in exceeding Misery: and I can see nothing but a speedy 
Death approaching. 

Blessed bee God, that I can dyl 

But the Time for Favour was now come: the sett Time was 
come! 

I am now to receive the Answers of so many Pray ers 
as had been employ 'd for my absent Pa rent; and for the 
Deliverance and Settlement, of my poor Countrey, for 
which hee had been employ'd, in so long an Agencie.' 

Wee have not our former CJtarter, but wee have a be tter 
in the Room of. it. One which much better suits our Cir- 
cumstances. And instead, of my being made a Sacrifice 
to wicked Riders, all the Councellours of the Province, are 
of my own Father' s Nomina tion; and my Father-in-Law, 
with several related unto mee, and several Brethren of my 
own church, are among them. The Governour of the Prov- 
ince is not my Enemy, but one whom I baptised, namely 
Sir William Phips, and one oT my own Flo c k,' and one of 
r ny dearest Frie ndsT 

On 14 d. 3 m. [May\ Satureday-Evening. My Father 
arrived, unto mee, with all of these Mercies.' 

My only Brother then also arrived well improved in 
his education. < 

Oh I what shall, I render to the Lord, for all His Benefits! 

' " Three Years are now passed, since our Merciful God, by a wonderful Turn, 
rescued this People from the Hands of those, who declared us, A People fit only 
to be Rooted off the Face of the Earth, and who might have been in Forwardness 
enough to accomplish, Tliat Rooting Business." A Midnight Cry (i6qj), 63. 

' Admitted and baptized March 23, 1690. It should be remembered that 
until the recall of the charter only a church-member could be a freeman. Eliza- 
beth and Sarah Mather were admitted upon the same day. Mather gives an 
account of the Phips's incidents in his Life of Phips, Magnolia, Bk. n. 46, and 
shows how he came to be selected Governor under the new charter. 

•"Sir William arrives in the Nonsuch Frigat: Candles are lighted before 
He gets into Townhouse. Isight Companies wait on Him to his house, and then 
on Mr. (fncrease] Mather to his. Made no volleys because 'twas Satterday night. 
Scwall, Diary, 1. 360. 

* This sentence was written in the margin. 

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MAY, 1692 149 

On this occasion, tho' I was then ill, and had but a few 
minutes of Time also, for my Study, I did on the Lord's- 
Day Morning, preach very largely with a very sensible 
Assistance of Heaven, upon Math. 14. 15, Our Lords pass- 
ing over the Water. 

Thus have I seen, the wonderful Effects of Prayer and 
Faith; and now, / unll call upon the Lord, as long as I Live. 

A G reat and General Assem bly was now called; and it 
was a Time, on that account, whereof it might bee said of 
the Inhabitants of this Province as of the Romans, on an- 
other Occasion. They had never seen a greater Day. By the 
Providence of God, it then fell unto me, to preach unto 
this Assembly; which I did, on 2. Chron. 12. 12, bearing 
as full a Testimony, as I was able, imto all those things, 
wherein I say the Interests of my Coimtrey." Among 
other things, T ran the Hazard nf np uch Reproch bv tes ti- 
f ying in that Sermon, against the Persecution of erroneo us 
a nd conscientious Dissenters, by the civil Magistra te. I 
fea red, that the Zeal of my Coimtrey had formerly had in 
it more Fire than should have been; especially, when th e 
mad Quakers were sent unto the Gallow es. that should 
have been kept rather in a Bedlam.^ I did therefore on 
this great Occasion bear my Testimony; hoping, that if 
the General Assembly now thank'd mee for it, their doing 
so, would bee accepted both by God and Man. I think, 
I a m the only Minister Living in the Land, that have te sti- 
fyed agai nst the Suppression of Hceresy, by Persecuti on. 
An d I hope^ the Lord will own mee with a more singu lar 
Su ccess, in the Suppression of Haeresy by Endeavours m ore 
s piritual and evangelic al.* 

' The Court appointed a day of solenui Thanksgiving for the safe arrival of 
Phips and Increase Mather. Magnolia, Bool; n. 

'"Let not the Tares of Will-Worship, of Arminianism . a.nd of Serpentine 
Quakerism, be nourished in our Churches." A Midnight Cry (1692), 61. 

• From "Among other things" etc., to this point was written in the margin, 
and presumably an afterthought. 

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150 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

I received the Thanks of the Assembly; and gave my 
Sermon unto the Bookseller,' (with another, on Prov. 
17. 27). So the Book was pubUshed, under the Title of, 
Optanda; or. Good Men described, and, Good Things 

PROPOUNDED. 

In my public Ministry, I now largely handled, the 
Description of the Day of Judgment, in the twenty-fifth 
Chapter of Matthew. 

In the Spring of this Year, I preached, on the Lecture, 
to the Countrey, a Sermon upon Temptations; and now, 
behold, my poor Countrey entred quickly into Temptation. 

The Rest of the Simimer, was a very doleful Time, unto 
the whole Countrey. 

Tht Pive ls, after a most praetematural Maimer, by the 
dreadful Judgment of Heaven took a bodily Pos session, of 
many people, i n Salem, and the ad jacent places; and the 
Houses of the poor People, began to bee filled with the 
horrid Cries of Persons tormented by m/ Spirits. There 
see m'd an execrable Witchcraft^ in the Foundation of this 
wonderful Afficti on. and many Persons, of diverse Char- 
acters, were accused, apprehended, prosecuted, upon the 
Visions of the Afilicted. 

For my own part, I was alwayes afraid of procee ding 
to convict and condemn anv Person, as a Confaederaie w ith 
afficting Daemons, upon so feeble an Evidence, as a spe ctral 
RepresentatMji.^ Accordingly. I ever testified again st it, 
both publickly and privately; and in my Letters to the 
Judges, I particularly, besought them, that they would by 

' Printed by Benjamin Harris. 

' "It was the ResiJ t of a Discourse, lately held at a Meeting of some very 
Pious and Learned Ministers among us, That the Devils nay someiimei have a per- 
mission to Represent an Innocent Person, as Tormenting such as are under Diabolical 
Molestations: But th'U such things are Rare and Extraordinary; especially when 
such matters come before Civil Judicature." From "Enchantments Encountered," 
prefixed to Wonders of the Invisible World. Mather treats of these specters and 
spectral evidences in Wonders of the Invisible World, $0. His letter to Richards, 
one of the judges in the trials, is in 4 Collections, vm. 391. Pure specter testi- 
mony is treated in that letter. 

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MAY, I 6g 2 151 

no means admitt it; and when a considerable Assembly of 
Ministers gave in their Advice about that Matter, I not 
only concurred with their Advice, but it was / who drew 
it up.* 

N evertheless, on the other side, I saw in most of the 
Ju dges, a most charming Instance of Prudence and Pati ence, 
a nd I knew their exemplary Pie tie, and the Agony of Soul 
with which they sought the Direction of Heaven; above 
most other People, whom I generally saw enchanted into 
a raging, raiUng, scandalous and unreasonable Disposition, 
as the Distress increased upon us: For this Cause tho' I 
could not allow the Principles, that some of the Judges 
had espoused, yett I could not but speak honourably of 
their Persons, on all Occasions; and my Compassion, upon 
the Sight of their Difficidties, raised by my Journey es to 
Salem, the chief Seat of these diaboUcal Vexations, caused 
mee yett more to do so.'' And meerly, as far as I can learn, 
for this Reason, the mad people thro' the Coimtrey, under a 
fascination on their Spirits, aequal to what our Energumens 
had on their Bodies, reviled mee, as if I had been the Doer 
of all the hard Things, that were done, in the Prosecution 
of the Witchcraft. 

In this EvU-Tim^e, I offered, at the beginning, that if the 
possessed People, might bee scattered far asunder, I would 
singly provide for six of them; and wee would see whether 

' This paper is printed in Magnolia, Book n. 63, where with characteristic 
indirection it is stated to have been prepared at the desire of the ministers "by 
Mr. Mather, the younger, as I have been informed." 

' On August 19th five unfortunates were executed at Salem for witchcraft, 
"a very great number of Spectators being present. Mr. Cotton Mather was 
there, Mr. Sims, Hale, Noyes, Chiever, &c. All of them said they were innocent, 
Carrier and all. Mr. Mather says they all died by a Righteous Sentence." Sewall, 
Diary, i. 363. Of the judges he said in Enchantments Encountred: "Such of 
them as I have the Honour of a Personal Acquaintance with, are Men of an excel- 
lent Spirit; and as at first they went about the work for which they were Cora- 
missioned, with a very great aversion, so they have still been under Heart-breaking 
Sollicitudes, how they might therein best serve both God and Man." See ajjrf 
Magnolia, Book n. 61. 

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152 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

without more bitter methods, Prayer with Fasting would 
not putt an End unto these heavy Trials:' But my 
offer (which none of my Revilers, would have been so 
courageous or so charitable, as to have made) was not 
accepted. 

However, for a great part of the Simimer, I did every 
Week, (mostly) spend a Day by myself, in the Exercises of a 
sacred FAST, before the Lord. On these Dayes (whereof 
I have kept no Record) I cried unto the Lord, not only for 
my own Preservation, from the MaUce and Power of the 
evil Angels, but also, for a good Issue of the Calamities 
wherein Hee had permitted the eoil Angels to ensnare this 
miserable Countrey. 

I also besought the Lord, that Hee would please to accept 
mee, direct mee, prosper mee, in publishing such Testi- 
monies for Him, as were proper, and would bee serviceable 
imto His Interests, on this occasion. 

Moreover, the Prison being filled with Persons com- 
mitted on Suspicion of Witchcraft, I went and preached unto 
the Persons in Prison, (on Act. 24. 25.) with a special Help 
from the Spirit of the Lord. 

That a right Use, might bee made, of the stupendous 
and prodigious Things, which had been happening among 
us, I now composed and pubUshed my Book, entituled. 
The Wonders of the bmsiBLE World:' in the Preface 
whereof, I could say, "None but the Father who sees in 
secret, knowes the heart-breaking Exercises, wherewith I 
have composed, what is now going to bee exposed; lest 
I should, in any one Thing, miss of doing my designed Ser- 
vice for His Glory, and for His People: But I am now 
somewhat comfortably assured of His favourable Accept- 
ance; and / mil not fear; what can a Satan do unto mee."' 

' Mather mentions this offer in the Magnolia, Book n. 6j, as made by "one 
particular person (whom I have cause to know)." 

' "Diverse Times reprinted at London." WriUen in margin. 

'"I have indeed set myself to countermine the whole plot of the Devil, 

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DECEMBER, 1692 I53 

When this Book was printed, many besotted People 
would not imagine any other, but that my Father's, Cases 
of Conscience, about Witchcraft,^ which came abroad just 
after it, were in opposition to it; which caused him, in the 
Postscript of his Cases, to say, 

"Some have taken up a Notion, that the Book newly 
pubUshed by my Son, is contradictory to this of mine. 
Tis strange, that such Imaginations should enter into the 
Minds of Men; I perused, and approved, that Book, before 
it was printed, and nothing but my Relation to him, hinderd 
mee, from recommending it unto the world." 

Tis not proper for mee to recite on this occasion, what 
encouraging Letters I received from some reverend Persons, 
about that reviled Book; and how one Sais, / think never 
Book came out more seasonably; and I give Thanks to our 
gracious God, for His Assistence of you, both in Matter and 
Manner; and how another sais, / solemnly profess, without 
the least Adulation, I never mett with an humane Author in 
my Life, tJtat spake more solidly and thoroughly to the Subject 
hee handled; and if eoery one that reads it, do not close with it, 
I shall fear gross Ignorance, inveterate Prejudice, or a pomcl 
Stroke of God, the Cause thereof. The Shield given by the 
Lievt. Govemour, of the Province, under which, that 



against New-England, in every branch of it, as. far as one of my darkness can com- 
prehend such a Work of Darkness. I may add, that I have herein also aimed 
at the Information and Satisfaction of Good Men in another Country, a thousand 
Leagues off, where I have, it may be, more, or however, more considerable Friends, 
than in my own: And I do what I can to have that Country, now, as well as always, 
in the best Terms with my own. But while I am doing these things, I have been 
driven a little to do something likewise for myself; I mean, by taking off the false 
Reports, and hard Censures about my Opinion in these Matters, the Farter's 
Portions which my pursuit of Peace has procured me among the Keen. My hitherto 
unvaried Thoughts are here published; and I believe, they will be owned by most 
of the Ministers of God in these Colonies; nor can amends be well made me, 
for the wrong done me, by other sorts of Representations." The Author's Defence 
in Wonders of the Invisible World. 

' Willard contributed an " Epistle." The book was prepared at the request 
of the ministers of the Province. Magnolia, Book n. 63. 

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154 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Book is walk'd abroad, is enough, and, I confess, too 
much. ' 

I mention, these vindicating Passages, only for some 
Ease of my own Mind, under the many buffeting Tempta- 
tions, which attended the Publication of that Book. 

(Upon the severest Examination, and the solemnest 
Supplication, I still think, that for the main, I have, written 
Right.) ^ 

The greatest part of the ensuing Winter, brought with 
it unto mee, little that was remarkable. 

My winter Ministry, was chiefly upon the Prayer of Jonas. 

It has been my usual Practice every morning, to render 
my Thanks unto the good God, for, my Life and the Com- 
forts of it; particularly for my Health, and my Li\'ing, and 
for the Life of my Father, and (afterwards) for the Com- 
panion of my Life. Then, for my Work and the Supports 
of it; particularly, for my Free speech, my large Library, 
and my unblemished Reputation. But last, and most. 
For the L[ord] Jesus Christ, and His Benefits. At last, I 
thought Singing the best way of Speaking, these my praises; 
and so I cast them into this little Hymn. 

Health, Bread, with Life, my God mee sends, 

My Consort, Fallicr, Friends; 
Employment, with Free Speech and Fame, 

And Books to feed the Same. 

For This, but most, for thy dear Son, 

My Thanks are now begun. 
Help mee, Good God, to love and praise. 

And serve thee all my Dayes. 

' William Stoughton, whose letter is prefixed to the volume. It is cast in 
the highly complimentary mould. Mather returned the rompliment by saying 
in Enchantments Encounlred of Stoughton: "Wc are under the Influence of 
a Lieutenant Governour, who not only by being admirably accomplished both 
with Natural and Acquired Endowments, is fitted for the Service of Their Majes- 
ties, but also with an unspotted Fidelity applies himself to that Service." He 
is equally complimentary to the Governor and Councillors. 

' Written at some later time. 

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DECEMBER, 1692 I55 

Afterwards, I thus mended it. 

Lord, bought by thy All-worthy Blood, 

Life, worthless I Receive: 
Nourish'd with Health, and Peace, and Food, 
Free from just Plagues, I live. 

From thy great Friendship I enjoy 

Friends that my Jewels are;' 
Mee Thou dost in thy Church employ 

And still accept my Prayer.^ 

CHRIST, His Promise, is mine;' 

His Angels are my Guard. 
I'l my long Praises therefore join. 

With Thy good Angels, Lord. 

I had filled my Countrey, with httle BOOKS, in several 
whereof, I had, with a Variety of Entertainment, offered 
the New-Covenant formally drawn up, imto my Neighbours: 
hoping to engage them eternally unto the Lord, by their 
subscribing with Heart and Hand, imto that Covenant.* 
Now in the late horrid Witchcraft, the manner of the Spectres 
was to tender BOOKS unto the afflicted People; solliciting 
of them to subscribe imto a League with the Divel therein 
exhibited, and so become the Servants of the Divel forever; 
which when they refused, the Spectres would proceed then 
to woimd them with Scalding, Burning, Pinching, Prick- 
ing, Twisting, Choaking, and a thousand praetematural 
Vexations.* 

' Originally the line read, "Friends greatly dear to mee:" 

'Originally written, "To speak and wriit for Thee." 

•Originally, "Christ and his promises arc mine." 

* "Would we find a Covert from these Vvltures? Let us then Hear'ourLord 
Jesus from Heaven Clocquing unto us, O that you would be gathered under my Wings I 
Well; When this is done, Then let us own the Covenant, which we are now come 
into, by joining ourselves to a particular Church, walking in the Order of the Gos- 
pel; at the doing whereof, according to that Covenant of God, We give up Ourselves 
unto the Lord, and in Him unto One Another. While others have had their 
Names Entred in the DevUs Book; let our Names be found in the Church Book." 
Wonders of the Invisible World, 73. 

'"Yea, more than One Twenty have Confessed that they have Signed unto 
a Book, which the Devil show'd them, and Engaged in his Hellish Design of Bewitch- 

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156 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Before I made any such Reflection myself, I heard this 
Reflection made by others, who were more considerate; 
That this Assault of the evil Angels upon the Countrey, was 
intended by Hell, as a particular Defiance, unto my poor 
Endeavours, to bring the Souls of men unto Heaven. When 
I more attentively considered this matter, it enflamed my 
Endeavours this Winter to do yett more, in a direct oppo- 
sition xmto the Divel. Wherefore I composed and published, 
a little Book, entituled, Awakenings for the Uniuegen- 
ERATE.' Wherein, I sett the Covenant of Grace, yett more 
evangelically and explicitly before the Children of Men, 
and besought them, to sign it, in order to their everlasting 
Happiness. And, as a further Opposition unto the Divel, 
besides, diverse other Discourses about the Concerns of 
Regeneration, in that Book, I added a Discourse, about, A 
Name written in tfte Book of Life. Promising, that, for the 
two Years, next ensuing, if I lived, I would of those Books, 
buy from the Book-seller, after the rate of two a Week; and 
scatter them, in Places, where I might Judge, most of Good 
would bee done by them. 

Remember mcc, O God, concerning this also, and spare mee 
according to the Greatness of thy Mercy! 

(After, the evil Angels in a possessed yovmg woman had 
reproched mee, for having never preached on that in Rev. 
13. 8. I, to oppose them and yett not foUow them, chose to 
preach, on Rev. 20. 15.)' 

ing, and Ruining our Land." From "Enchantments Encountred," prefixed to 
Wonders of the Inmsible World. 

' Unum Necasarium. Printed by Benjamin Harris for Duncan Campbell, 
1693. In his preface Mather states that the volume is made up of notes of 
two or three sermons preached " almost seven ytars ago," and of two or three 
more since delivered. 

'This paragraph is written in the margin. The first text is: "And all that 
dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names arc not written in the book 
of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." The second is: "And 
whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." 
Increase Mather believed that it "puts too much Respect upon a DiM, to 
Argue and Parley with him, on a Point which the Devil himself Believes and 

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december, 1692 157 

Memorandum. 

I observed That in the horrible Assaults made by the 
Invisible World, upon some scores of people, in the Enchant- 
ments and Possessions, which amazed the Coimtrey, the 
matter still urged upon the poor Energumens, with a thou- 
sand praetematural Torments, was, to sign (sett their Names 
and Hands) unto a Book, by a Dcemon presented unto them} 

Hereupon, I reckoned, that it would bee a convenient 
Contradiction unto this method of the Divels, for mee to 
subscribe unto GODS BOOK. 

Wherefore, I took the BIBLES, which I most commonly 
vised; and I wrote, 

In ONE, at the Top of the first Leaf, 

Received as the Book of God and of Life, by 

Cotton Mather. 

At the End of the last Leaf, 

Embraced as the Word of Christ and Salvation 
BY Cotton Mather. 

In ANOTHER, at the Top of the first Leaf, 

Enjoy'd as the unerring , Rule of Beleef, and 
Practice, by Cotton Mather. 

At the End of the last Leaf, 

Received as the Word of God, of Truth, and of 
Life, by Cotton Mather. 

In a THIRD, At the End, 

Trembles at," but flat contradiction was the better method. Wendell, Cotton 
Mather, 25. 

' " 'Tis well known, that the Devils make a Compact with some Witches 
to be the Masters of their Souls upon their Departure hence; and such Witches 
have been among our selves Convicted by so fair and full a process of Law, as 
would render the Dangers thereof worthy of no Reasonabler Company than that 
in Bethlem; and greater Prodigies than any that are in Witchcraft it self." A 
Midnight Cry (1692), 10. "The Devil, Exhibiting himself ordinarily as a small 
Black man, has decoy'd a fearful knot of proud, froward, ignorant, envious and 
malicious creatures, to lift themselves in his horrid Service, by entring their 
Names in a Book by him tendred unto them." Wonders of the Invisible World, 
49. See also p. 50. 

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I 58 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Received as the Book of God and of Life, by 

Cotton Mather. 

Approaching towards the Age of Thirty, tis Time for 
me to think upon the memorable Words, in Chanuk's 
Memoires. 

Cum Natalis Dies Febrtiaris admonuissei /Etatis nume- 
randcE, el Tricesimo reperissem, invasil me subiia mastitia, el 
perculsil admiranlem, quom^do sine sensu Vila, ad ejus culmen 
pervenissem, quo Lux qucelibet fil obscurior, el Dies noslri ad 
occasum indinare incipiunl. Visa est mihi Rerum fades 
momenlo mulata; El tuiu primum me Hominem agnovi. 

The Hearty Wishes, of, Collon Malher. 

I have ever now and then gone to the Good God, with the 
most solemn Addresses, iJml I may bee allogether delivered 
from Enchantments; tlial no Enchantment on my Mind, 
may hinder mee from seeing or doing any thing for tlie Glory 
of God, or dispose mee to any thing whereat God may bee 
displeased. The Reason of this Wish, is, because I beleeve 
that a real and proper Enchantment, of the Divels, do's 
blind, and moi'c the Minds of the most of Men; even in 
Instances of every sort. But I remember, that much Fast- 
ing as well as Prayer, is necessary-, to obtain a Rescue from 
Enchantment. 

It has been one of my watchful Desires and Studies, to 
mention a personal Quarrel, with no person hving in the 
World; but rather to deny myself of my Humour, my 
Esteem and any thing in the world. The Reason of this 
Wish, is because, no man can manage a personal Quarrel 
against another, without loosing abundance of precious 
Time, which might bee laid out, unto infinitely better pur- 
pose, in the Service of Christ and His Church; besides a 
deal of unavoidable Sin, which will insinuate itself into 
every personal Quarrel, thereby ones internal Peace is 
broken, 

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DECEMBER, 1692 1 59 

And one, likely to live, so little a Time, as I, had need 
throw away, as little of his Time, as ever hee can. 

Musculus, just before hee Dyed, wrote the following 
verses. 

NU superest Vitae; Frigus p'raecordia capiat, 

Sed Tu, Christe, mihi vita perennis ades. 
Quid Trepidas, Anima ? Ad sedes abitiira quietis, 

En, tibi Ductor adest, Angelus ille-tuus. 

Linque Domum banc miseram, nunc in sua fata ruentem, 

Quam tibi fide Dei Dextera restituet. 
Peccasti? Scio: Sed Christus Credentibus in se 

Peccata Expiu-gat Sanguine cuncta sua. 
Horribilis Mors Est ? Fateor: Sed proxima Vita est 

Ad quam te Christi Gratia certe vocat. 
Praesto est de Satana, peccato, et Morte triumphans 

Christus; Ad Hunc igitur, Laeta alacrisque migra.' 

' From Sewall's Diary it is learned that Mather preached October 27 from 
James, i. 4. 

From Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the Second Church are taken the fol- 
lowing entry: 

"2d. sm [July.] Jane Deuce, who had long lain under Admonition for 
the Sin of Drunkenness, this Day offered unto the Church, the Expressions of 
Repentance, and was received unto our Communion." 

A letter from Mather to John Richards on baptism, dated December 14, 
1692, is in 4 Collections, \ra. 397. 



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1692-93 



THE XXXIST YEAR, 
(of a Forfeited Life.) 

Cotton Mather 

Anagram by Mr. Grindel Rawson, 

Not Heart, mort.^ 

THE XXXIST YEAR OF MY AGE. 

12 d. 12 m. [February.] Lord's-Day. 1692. This Day, hav- 
ing finished the thirtieth year of my Age thro' the wonder- 
ful Patience and Goodness of God; I preached unto my 
Congregation, as agreeable Things, as I could, upon Psal. 
102. 24. / said, my God, take mee not away in the midst of 
my Dayes. 

After this, I sett myself, to preach over, the whole 
Epistle of Jude, as being a rich Portion of Scripture, fit for 
our Time and Place.' But I intermingled many occasional 
Texts. 

About this Time, I had many wonderful Entertainments, 
from the Invisible World, in the Circimistances of a Young 
Woman, horribly possessed with Divels. The Damsel was 
cast into my cares, by the singular Providence of God; and 
accordingly besides my Cares to releeve her, to advise her, 

'These three lines are not in Cotton Mather's writings. 

'"The object of the epistle is declared to be an exhortation to the readers 
to 'contend earnestly (or the faith,' on account of certain ungodly men whose lives 
are reprehensible, and whose teaching is a denial of ' the only Ruler and our Lord, 
Jesus Christ.' Examples of the destruction by divine judgment of those whose 
belief and life were false are deduced from the old Testament and Jewish apoca- 
lyptic, and directions arc given as to the proper deportment of believers toward 
such persons." 0. Cone in Encydopadia Biblica (Cheyne), n. 2630. 

[i6ol 

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FEBRUARY, 1692-93 161 

to observe the prodigious things that befel her, (whereof I 
have written a Narrative) I procured some of my devout 
Neighbours, to join with mee in praying for her. Wee kept 
Three Successive Dayes, of Prayer with Fasting on her 
behalf; and/Aen wee saw her Delivered; for which, wee kept 
a Time of solemn Thanksgiving. But after a while, her 
Tormentors returned, and her Miseries renewed; and my 
Neighbours being now either too weary or too busy, to do as 
afore, tho' they made much Prayer daily imth her as well as 
for her, / did alone in my Study, fast and pray for her 
DeUverance. And, imto my Amazement, when I had kept 
my third Day for her, shee was finally and forever deUvered 
from the hands of evil Angels; and I had afterwards the 
Satisfaction of seeing not only her so brought home unto 
the Lord, that shee was admitted unto our Church, but also 
many other, even some scores, of young People, awakened 
by the Picture of Hell, exhibited, in her Sufferings, to flee 
from the Wrath to come.^ 

1693. 

Our Church, having hitherto extended a Church-Watch 
xrato none but our Communicants, and confined Baptism 
unto them and their Children, I was desirous to bring the 
Church into a Posture more agreeable unto the Advice of 
our Synod, in the year, 1662. 

My Method for it, was this. Having first, in a Sermon, 
at a Chiurch-Meeting, declared my own Perswasion about 
this Matter, I permitted no pubUc Disputation to follow 
upon it; but I employ 'd fitt Hands, to carry an Instrument, 
containing my Sentiments and Purposes, unto the Brethren 
of the Church; who generally signed, a Desire and Address 
unto myself, thereto annexed that I would act accordingly. 
As for the few Brethren, who were disaffected unto my Pro- 

' Compare with this the account of a not dissimilar experience related by 
James Fitch to Increase Mather in a letter dated July i, 1684, printed in 4 Col- 
lections, vm. ^7 5. „ , 

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l62 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

ceedings, I carried it so peaceably, and obligingly, and yett 
resolutely towards them, that they patiently lett mee take my 
Way; and some of them told mee, they thought / did well, to 
do as I did; tho' they could not yett come to see as I did. 

Thus, was our Church, quietly brought unto a Point, 
which heretofore cost no little Difficiilty. But my Charge 
of such as now submitted themselves unto my ecclesiastical 
Watch, was exceedingly increased. 

Lord, lett thy Grace bee sufficient for mee! 

In the Spring of this year, I did ever now and then keep 
Dayes of secret Humiliation before the Lord; so many 
indeed, that I foimd myself not able well to keep exact 
Records of them all. I also kept one or two Dayes of 
Thanksgiving in my Study. 

But on one of these Dayes, my special Errand imto the 
Lord, was this; that, whereas. His good Angels, did by His 
Order, many good Offices for His People, Hee would please 
to grant, unto mee, the Enjoyment of all those angelical 
Kindnesses, which use to bee done by His Order, for His 
chosen Servants; I requested only those Kindnesses, which 
the Word of God mentioned, as belonging to the Heirs of 
Salvation; but I requested, that I might receive these 
Kindnesses, in a Manner and Measure more Transcendent, 
than what the great Corruptions in the Generality of good 
Men, permitted them to bee made Partakers of. 

Now that I might bee qualify'd for this Favour, I first 
entreated that I may not, and engaged that I will not, on 
the Score of any angelical Communications, forsake the 
Conduct of the Lords written Word, but apply myself more 
than ever to the assiduous, and reverent Contemplation of 
that Word. 

I proceeded then to consider, what things would render 
mee singularly agreeable to the Holy Angels of God; and 
for my Assistence in those things I humbly implored the 

Grace of the Lord. It was now my Purpose, 

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MARCH, 1693 163 

To bee entirely devoted xinto God, in all the Wayes 
of dedicating Holiness. 

To bee continually contriving how to glorify God, in 
being eminently Serviceable. 

To bee much in Studies upon the Person, but especially 
upon the Kingdome, of the Lord Jesus Christ which things 
the Angels desire to look into. 

To render myself more useful unto my Neighbours in 
their AflBictions; not only releeving the Poor, but also the 
Sick; to which purpose, I would collect, at Leisure, a fit 
Number of most parable and effectual Remedies for all 
Diseases, and pubUsh them imto the world; so, by my 
Hand, will bee done things that the Angels love to do.* 

Finally, to conceal with all prudent Secrecy whatever 
extraordinary Things, I may perceive done for mee, by the 
Angels, who love Secrecy in their Administrations. 

i®~ I do now beleeve, that some great Things are to bee 
done for mee, by the Angels of God. 

On March 28. Tuesday, between 4 and 5 A.M. God gave 
to my Wife, a safe Deliverance of a Son.^ It was a child of 
a most comely and hearty Look, and all my Friends enter- 
tained his Birth, with very singular Expressions of Satis- 
faction. But the Child was attended with a very strange 
Disaster; for it had such an obstruction in the Bowels, as 
utterly hindred the Passage of its Ordure from it. Wee 
used all the Methods that could bee devised for its Ease; 
but nothing wee did, could save the Child from Death. It 
languished, in its Agonies, tiU Saturday, April, i. about 
10 h P.M. and so dy'd, unbaptised. There was a conjunction 
of many and heavy Trials in this Dispensacon of God; but 
Grod enabled mee to bear them all, with an unexpected 
Measure of Resignacon, imto His Holy Will. I did not 
suffer such a Discomposure in my Thoughts, as to hinder 



' A suggestion of the Angel of Bethesda. 

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164 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

mee, from preaching both parts of the Day following; in 
the Forenoon on Heb. 11. 17; in the Afternoon, on Job. 
2. 10, and to exemplify unto my Congregation, a Uttle of the 
Faith, Patience, Thankfulness, which I then preached unto 
them. On the Monday, the Child was buried, with a very 
numerous and honourable Attendence of my Neighbours; 
and on one of the Grave-stones, I wrote only that Epitaph, 
Reserved for a Glorious Resurrection. 

When the Body of the Child was opened, wee found, 
that the lower End of the Rectum Intestinum, instead of 
being Musculous, as it should have been, was Membranous, 
and altogether closed up. I had great Reason to suspect 
a Witchcraft, in this prjetematural Accident; because my 
Wife, a few weeks before her DeUverance, was affrighted 
with an horrible Spectre, in our Porch, which Fright caused 
her Bowels to turn within her; and the Spectres which both 
before and after, tormented a yoimg Woman in our Neigh- 
bourhood, brag'd of their giving my Wife that Fright, in 
hopes, they said, of doing Mischief unto her Infant at least, 
if not unto the Mother: and besides all this, the Child was no 
sooner bom, but a suspected Wonjan sent unto my Father, 
a Letter full of railing against myself, wherein shee told him, 
Hee little knew, what might quickly befall some of his Pos- 
terity. However I made Uttle use of, and laid little Stress 
on, this Conjecture; desiring to submitt unto the Will of 
my Heavenly Father without which, Aot a Sparrow falls 
unto the Ground. 

In the Summer of this Year, 1693. My Good God 
helped mee, to do some other little Services, for His dearest 
Name.' 

I had often wished for an Opportunity, to bear my 
Testimonies, against the Sins of Uncleanness, wherein so 

' "6 (f. 6 m. lAugusl.\ This Day by a dear Vote of the Brethren, there were 
chosen to the office of Deacons in the Church, Mr. John Atwood, Mr. Obadiah 
Oill, Mr. John Barnard." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the Second 
Church, u. 

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JULY, 1693 165 

many of my Generacon do pollute themselves. A young 
Woman of Haverhil,^ (and a Negro Woman also of this Town) 
were under sentence of Death, for the Murdering of their 
Bastard-children. Many and many a weary Hour, did I 
spend in the Prison, to serve the Souls of those miserable 
Creatures; and I had Opportunities in my own Congrega- 
tion, to speak to them, and from them, to vast Multitudes 
of others. Their E.xecution, was ordered to have been, 
upon the Lecture of another; but by a very strange Provi- 
dence, without any Seeking of mine, or any Respect to mee, 
(that I know of) the order for their Executiott was altered 
and it fell on my Lecture Day. I did then with the special 
Assistance of Heaven, make and preach, a Sermon upon, 
Job. 36. 14. Whereat one of the greatest Assemblies, ever 
known in these parts of the World, was come together. I 
had obtained from the yoimg Woman, a pathetical Instru- 
ment, in Writing, wherein shee own'd her own miscarriages, 
and wam'd the rising Generacon of theirs. Towards the 
dose of my Sermon, I read that Instrvunent unto the Con- 
gregation; and made what Use, was proper of it. I accom« 
pany'd the Wretches, to their Execution; but extremely fear 
all our Labours were lost upon tkem: however sanctifyed 
unto many others. The Sermon was immediately printed; 
with another, which I had formerly uttered on the like 
Occasion; (entitled, Warnings from the Dead.) and it 
was greedily bought up;^ I hope, to the Attainment of the 
Ends, which I had so long desired. T'was afterwards 
reprinted at London.' 

Moreover, a Fast was kept in the Old-Meeting-house, 

' From Sewall the name of the unfortunate is learned — Elizabeth Emerson. 
Diary, i. 379. See also Chase, History of Haverhill, 14s. It never seemed to 
occur to the legislators and churchmen of that day that the requirement of public 
confession and penance for sin against morality encouraged child m'irder. Rather 
than face the public exhibition of their fault, the mother made away with the 
child. 

• Printed by Bartholomew Green for Samuel Phillips, 1693. 

• This line is written in the margin. 

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l66 DIARY OF COTTON MATHEK 

the Day after the Conunencement;' occasion 'd by an 
extreme Drought on these parts. I preached all the Day, 
and God inclined some of His People, to print the Sermons, 
They are abroad under the Titles, of. The Day and the 
Work of the Day.* Who am I, that God should thus 
use and read my poor Thoughts, for the Good of my whole 
Generation? 

Moreover, the good People of Reading, saw cause, in 
July, to keep a Day of Prayer on the behalf of their young 
People; that the rising Generation of the place may bee 
made a praying and a pious Generation; and they chose a 
Time of my Direction for it. I went, and spent the Day 
with them, and preached unto a vast Assembly, on Psal. 
119. 9. being entertained with a very extraordinary Atten- 
tion and Affection in the Auditory, and, I hope, with Suc- 
cesses very comfortable. 

And because I foresaw an inexpressible Deal, of Service, 
like to bee thereby done for the Church of God, not only 
here, but abroad in Europe, especially at the approaching 
Reformation, I formed a Design, to endeavour, The Church- 
History Of This Countrey.' Laying my Design be- 
fore the neighbouring Ministers, they encouraged it; and 
accordingly I sett myself to cry mightily unto the Lord, that 
if my Undertaking herein might bee for His Glor}-, Hee 
would grant mee His Countenance and Assistance in it. 
(However, I did not actually begin this Work, till the latter 
End of the year.) 

In the Month of July a most pestilential Feaver, was 
brought among us, by the Fleet coming into our Harbour 
from the West-Indies/ It was a Distemper, which in less 

> 6 rf. s m. (July.) 

' Printed by Benjamin Harris. 

• The germ idea of the Magnolia. 

* The Fleet-fever raged until the middle of September. Sewall records many 
deaths. Diary, i. 380. See Hutchinson, History, n. 71. Mather's statements 
in his Magnolia upon this visitation are contradictory to what is said above, and 

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JULY, 1693 167 

than a Week's time usually carried off my Neighbours, 
with very direful Symptoms, of turning Yellow, vomiting 
and bleeding every way and so Dying; tho' for diverse 
Dayes after the first Deciraibiture, the Disease did but as it 
were play with the Sick. God was pleased most mercifully 
to preserve mee, from this Pestilence; for I had undertaken 
one Lord's-Day morning, in Answer to a Desire, from some 
Commanders in the Army, to visit a considerable Party of 
the Souldiers lately arrived from their disastrous Expedi- 
tion at Martinico, and now randezvouzed on our Islands.' 
Had I proceeded, in this rash undertaking to go and pray 
and preach, among an herd, that were so infectious, in prob- 
ability it would have cost mee my Life; as it proved mortal 
imto others that spent their Time among them: especially, 
while our Physicians had not yett leam'd the way of 
encoimtring the Distemper. But while I was on Board the 
Govemour's Barge, in the Harbour, going down, I was taken 
so vehemently sick, that my Friends would not lett mee go 
any further. I was well, as soon as I came home, and in 
the Afternoon preached in my own Congregacon, where 
the Admiral, and principal Commanders of the Fleet came 
to hear mee. Knowing the horrid Atheism, and Wickedness 
of these that were now come to bee my Hearers, I preached 
imto them, on Psal. 119. 59,' and my God, help'd mee in 
it. I beleeve, t'was a Good Angel, which there struck mee 
sick; and by the Ministration of those good and kind Spirits, 
I beleeve, I was afterwards, putt upon such MeSiods as God 
blessed for the Preservacon of my Health. ^ ^ 

misled Webster into placing greater reliance in the clergyman, than in the definite 
statements of Hutchinson. Bri^ History of Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases, 
I. 308. 

' This fleet, with about two thousand soldiers on board, had come to Boston 
to take part in an attack upon Quebec. No orders had been given to prepare 
for its coming, and the epidemic swept off two thirds of the soldiers. It only 
remained to await a reinforcement from England, which never came. Sir Charles 
Wheeler was in command. See Magnolia, Book n. 71. 

•"I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies." 

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l68 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

I endeavoured now to accommodate myself unto the 
humbling DispensaCons of God among my Neighbour's 
by humbling myself under those Dispensacons. I did sett 
myself by Dayes of Prayers kept secretly as well as Publickly, 
not only to obtain my own Praservation, but also to divert 
the Wrath of Heaven, from the Neighbourhood. I bore my 
Testimony as earnestly as I could, against the Views, that I 
judg'd among the Causes of the Calamity; (Especially when 
I preached on i. Cor. ii. 30.) and such of those Vices, as 
call'd for the Correction of the Magistrate, I hope, I did 
effectually stirr up some of our Justices to prosecute. I 
took occasion also, to quicken and assist such Prceparations 
for Death, as were in this dangerous Time, to bee press'd 
with more Vehemency, (especially, by preaching on Psal. 
90. 12, and on Ps. 119. 19), and I essay 'd further to recom- 
mend Preservatives from the Dangers of the Time; (espe- 
cially, by preaching on Ps. 57. i.) Accept of mee, O my God I 

In these dying Times, I fovmd the Grace of God helping 
mee, unto some singular Dispositions. 

I was now more willing and ready to dy, than perhaps I 
had ever yett been, in all my Life. This World was grown 
more little to mee, and the World whereto I am going, was 
grown more glorious, more sensible, in my Apprehensions 
of it. My Translation from this World unto that, would 
have been with less Convulsion perhaps, tham ever heretofore. 

Moreover, J now took up Resolutions, with God's Help, 
to bee more diligent than ever, in that Expression of pure 
Religion, to visit the Widow and tlte Orphan. I designed, that 
every Week, I would ordinarily do something, at visiting the 
headless Families in my Flock, and praying with them and 
for them. 

About this Time, the Lord accepted mee, and employed 
mee, to do a singular Service for my ungrateful Countrey, 
(besides other little Services which I have been doing for it 
continually). I wrote such a true and brief Representation 

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ADGUST, 1693 169 

of the Countrey, with the Posture both of Men and of 
Things in it, as all the thinking Friends of the Countrey 
would have thought it worth a vast Sum of Money, if any 
one could have laid before the King, such a State of our 
affayrs. This Representation I directed unto the KING 
Himself; and using of certain particular Methods, with our 
Governour, it was, by the good Providence of Heaven 
convey'd with all the Secrecy desireable, unto the KING'S 
own Hand; who read it with much Satisfaction, and, I hope, 
formed from thence, in His own royal Mind, those Char- 
acters of the Countrey; whereof wee shall reap the good 
Effects for many a Day. 

Among other Services, which I was desirous to do for my 
glorious Lord, about the latter End of the Summer, this was 
One. I considered with myself, that the Time of Winter, 
was a Time of Leisure with most of my Neighbours; here- 
upon, I contrived with myself how I might with as charm- 
ing a Mixture of Religion and Ingenuity, as I could, invite 
my Neighbours, to improve the Leisure of the Winter, for 
the Glory of God, and their own spiritual and eternal Advan- 
tage. So I did with much Labour and Study, compose a 
Book, which I entitled, Winter Meditations;' (and when 
Winter came, I published it.) 

Towards the latter End of the Sununer now running, 
I began one of the greatest Works, that ever I undertook 
in my Life. 

With many cries unto the God of Heaven, that Hee would 
by His good Spirit Assist mee, in my Undertaking, and that 
Hee would employ His good Angels to supply mee from 
Time to Time, with Materials for it, I sett myself every 
Morning to write upon a Portion of Scripture, some Illus- 
tration, that should have in it, something of Curiositie. I 
considered, that all the Learning in the World might bee 

' With a preface by Rev. John Higginson, dated October s, 1693- The 
printer was Benjamin Harris. 

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170 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

made gloriously subservient unto the Illtistraiion of the 
Scripture; and that no profess'd Commentary had hitherto 
given so much of Illustration unto it, as might bee given. 
I considered, that Multitudes of particular Texts, had, 
especially of later years, been most notably illustrated, in 
the scattered Books of learned Men, than in any of the 
ordinary Commentators; and I considered, that the Treas- 
ures of Illustrations for the Bible, dispersed in the Volumes 
of this Age, might bee fetch'd all together by a laborious 
Ingenuitie. Accordingly, resolving still to give the Church 
of God, such Displays of His blessed Word, as may bee more 
entertaining for the Novelty and Raritie of them, than any 
that have been hitherto seen together, in any Exposition; 
and yett such as may bee acceptable vmto the most Judi- 
cious for the demonstrative Truth of them, and unto the most 
Orthodox, for the Regard had vmto the Analogy of Faith 
in all; I now began my great Work. I thought, that after 
the Rate of one Illustration in a Day I might, if the Lord 
would spare my Life one seven Years more, have (without 
sensible Hardship) gotten together, a Number of golden 
Keyes for His precious Word, and learned, charming and 
curious Notes on His Word, far beyond any that had yett 
seen the Light; or, if I dy'd in the midst of my Work, yett 
my Labour might not bee in vain in the Lord; yett it would 
bee worth the while, tho' I furnished none but myself, with 
such Accomphshments for a Minister of the New Testament.^ 
(I have since found a marvellous Providence of Heaven, 

' He wrought at it until his fifty-first year, when he published proposak for 
printing it, an indication of his belief that it was finished; but the delay in securing 
a publisher enabled him to add many more illustrations, and the son, Samuel, 
continued his eOorts to find a publisher. The result in six folio volumes of 
manuscript material is in the Massachusetts Historical Society. No more futile 
labor has come down to us. It is a great indigested mass of material, drawn 
from many sources, and with no evidence of design or settled plan. Marking his 
industry, it also indicates the ill-regulated activity of Mather's labors, and his 
tendency to scatter rather than concentrate his energies. The Biblia is one of 
the most characteristic of the products of Mather's pen. 

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SEPTEMBER, 1693 I7I 

directing my Endeavours, thus to make His Word run and 
bee glorified; and the Lord, unquestionably by angelical 
Operation, throwes into my Hands continually those 
Assistences for this Work, that oblige mee to thank His 
Name exceedingly, and go on abounding in this Work of the 
Lord.) 

I purpose to entitle this work 

BIBLIA AMERICANA. 

About a Week after the Beginning of September, being 
sollidtous to do some further Service, for the Name of God, 
I took a Journey to Salem. There, I not only sought a 
further Supply of my Furniture for my Church-History, but 
also endeavoured, that the complete History of the late 
Witchcrafts and Possessions, might not bee lost. I judg'd 
that the Preservacon of that History, might in a while bee 
a singular Benefit imto the Church, and unto the World, 
which made mee soUicitous about it. Moreover, I was will- 
ing to preach the Word of God, unto the numerous Congre- 
gation at Salem; which I did, on both Parts of the Sabbath, 
not only with a most glorious Assistence of Heaven, but also 
with some Assurance of Good thereby to bee done among 
the People.' But I had one singular Unhappiness, which 
befel mee, in this Journey. I had largely written three 
Discourses, which I designed both to preach at Salem, and 
hereafter to print. These Notes, were before the Sabbath, 
stolen from mee, with such Circimastances, that I am some- 
what satisfied. The Spectres, or Agents in the invisible 
World, were the Robbers. This Disaster, had like to have 

> Salem church was passing through 3 serious crisis, arising from the protests 
made against Rev. Samuel Farris by some members of his congregation. The 
witchcraft troubles had broken out in Parris's household, and he had, among 
other indiscretions, gone to Abigail Williams and some others, whom he supposed 
to have "spectral sight," to be informed who in the town were witches, and who 
afiBicted those claiming to be sufferers through witchcraft. The danger in such 
a method of obtaining evidence is too dear to require any comment. See Calef, 
More Wonders of the Invisible World, 90. 

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172 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

disturbed my Designs for the Sabbath; but God helped 
mee to remember a great part of what I had written, and to 
deliver also many other Things, which else I had not now 
made use of. So that the Divel gott nothing! 

Among other things which entertained mee at Salem, 
one was, a Discourse with one Mrs. Carver, who had been 
strangely visited with some shining Spirits, which were 
good Angels, in her opinion of them. 

Shee intimated several things unto mee whereof some 
were to bee kept secret.' Shee also told mee, That a new 
Storm of Witchcraft would fall upon the Countrey; to 
chastise the Iniquity that was used in the wilful Smothering 
and Covering of the Last; and that many fierce Opposites 
to the Discovery of that Witchcraft would bee thereby 
convinced. 

Unto my Surprise, when I came home, I found one of 
my Neighbours, horribly arrested by rvil Spirits. I then 
beg'd of God, that Hee would help mee wisely to discharge 
my Duty upon this occasion, and avoid gratifying of the 
evil Angels in any of their Expectacons. I did then, con- 
cern myself to use, and gelt as much Prayer as I could for 
the afflicted young Woman; and at the same time, to for- 
bid, either her from accusing any of her Neighbours, or 
others from enquiring any thing of her. Nevertheless, a 
wicked Man, wrote a most lying Libel to revile my Conduct 
in these matters; which drove mee to the Blessed God, 
with my Supplications that Hee would wonderfully protect 
mee, as well from unreasonable Men acted by the Divels, as 
from the Divels themselves. I did at first, it may bee too 
much resent the Injuries of that Libel; but God brought 
good out of it; it occasioned the Multiplication of my 
Prayers before Him; it vcr>' much promoted the Works 
of Humiliation and Mortification in my Soul. Indeed, the 
Divel made that Libel, an Occasion of those Paroxysms in 

' A line is here struck out. 

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OCTOBER, 1693 173 

the Town, that would have exceedingly gratify'd him, if 
God had not helped mee to forgive and forgett the Injuries 
done unto mee, and to bee deaf imto the Sollicitations of 
those that would have had mee so to have resented the 
Injuries of some few Persons, as to have deserted the Lec- 
ture at the Old Meeting house. 

When the afficted yoimg woman had imdergone six 
Weeks of praetematural Calamities and when God had 
helped mee to keep just three Dayes of Prayer on her behalf, 
I had the Pleasure of seeing the same Success, which I used 
to have, on my third Fast, for such possessed People, as have 
been cast into my cares. God gave her a glorious DeUv- 
erance; There markable Circumstances whereof, I have 
more fully related, in an History of the whole Business.' 

As for my missing Notes, the possessed young Woman, 
of her own Accord, enquir'd whether I missed them not ? 
Shee told mee, the Spectres brag'd in her hearing, that they 
had rob'd mee of them; shee added, Bee n't concern' d; for 
they confess, they can't keep them alwayes from you; you shall 
have them all brought you again. (They were Notes on Ps. 
119. 19 and Ps. 90. 12 and Hag. i. 7. 9. I was tender of 
them and often pray'd unto God, that they might bee 
retum'd.)' On the fifth of October following, every Leaf 
of my Notes again came into my Hands, tho' they were in 
eighteen separate Quarters of Sheets. They were foimd 
drop't here and there, about the Streets of Lyn; but how 
they came to bee so drop't I cannot imagine; and I as 
much wonder at the Exactness of their Praeservation. 

It pleased God, that on October 3. my Daughter Mary 
was taken very dangerously sick of a Feaver, with a Vomit- 
ing, and with Worms. I was, by a strange Diversion upon 

' The afflicted young lady was Margaret Rule, of whom Mather wrote an 
account which fell into the possession of Calef, who threatened to publish it. 
Mather became alarmed, threatened to arrest Calef for slander, called him "one of 
the worst of Lyars," and denounced him from the pulpit. 

' The words in the parenthesis were written in the margin. 

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174 DIAEY OF COTTON MATHER 

my Spirit hindred from importunate Prayers, for the Life 
of the sick Child; but at Length, on October 5. in the 
Evening, I had my Heart wonderfully melted in Prayers 
at my Father Philips' s where the Child lay sick: I de- 
manded not the Life of the Child, but I resigned it unto the 
Mercy of God, in Jesus Christ; with such rapturous Assur- 
ances of the Divine Love unto mee and mine, as would richly 
have made Amends for the Death of more Children, if God had 
then called for them, t&'l was unaccountably assured, not 
only that this Child, shall bee happy forever, but that I 
never should have any Child, except what should bee an aier- 
lasting Temple to the Spirit of God: Yea, tliat I and mine 
should bee together in the Kingdome of God, World without End. 

About Six a clock in the Morning, following, it being the 
sixth Day of the Month, and the sixth Day of the Week, 
the Child near a Month short of two Years old, expired. 

The next Day, it was buried in Boston, with an honour- 
able Attendence at the Funeral.* 

On one of the Grave-Stones, I wrote, 

Gone, but not Lost. 

On the Day following, was our Communion at the Lord's 
Table. I then administred the Sacrament, and before it, 
preached on Gen. 22. 12. Now I know that tfiou fearest God: 
Handling that Observation, A good Man may by many 
Tokens come to know, that Itee has in him the Fear of God; 
but a right Behaviour under afflictive Trials, is the Token that 
will more especially and eminently serve to make it known. 
And, I hope, that I now so exemplify'd such a Behaviour, 
as not only to embolden my Approches to the Supper of the 
Lord, but also to direct and instruct my Neighbourhood, 
with what frame to encounter their Afflictions 

On the Tuesday ensuing, namely on October 10, which 
was a Day of military Diversions, to the whole Town of 

' The bearers were Picrpont, Willard, Jeremiah Allen, and Adam Winthrop. 

Scwall, Diary, i. 385. 

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OCTOBER, 1693 17s 

Boston, I sett apart the Day, for prayer with Fasting in my 
Study. I then considered my many humbling Circum- 
stances, both as to my Sins, and as to my Sorrowes; espe- 
cially, in the Breaches made upon my Family; as also in 
the cursed Reproches with which this unworthy, ungodly, 
ungrateful People, do load not myself only, but both of 
my Fathers too. 

On this Day, my God gave mee great Assurances, of His 
Purpose to bestow many Blessings; and particularly, that 
Hee would make my Name and the Names of both my 
Father's also, to become honourable among His People: 
that Hee will support us, comfort us, and at last, requite us 
good, for all the Evil wee meet withal. 

On this Day, I also visited a possessed young Woman in 
the Neighbourhood, whose Distresses were not the least 
occasion of my being thus before the Lord.' I wrestled 
with God for her: and among other things, I pleaded, that 
God had made it my Office and Business to engage my 
Neighboiurs in the Service of the Lord Jesus Christ; and 
that this yoimg Woman had expressed her Compliance with 
my Invitations imto that Service; only that the evil Spirits 
now hindred her from doing what shee had \'owd: and 
therefore that I had a sort of Right to demand her Deliv- 
erance from these invading Divels, and to demand such a 
Liberty for her as might make her capable of glorifying my 
Glorious Lord; which I did accordingly. In the close of 
this Day, a wonderful Spirit, in White and bright Raiment, 
with a Face unseen, appeared imto this yoimg woman, and 
bid her, count mee her Father, and regard mee and obey mee, 
as her Father; for hee said, the Lord had given her to mee; 
and shee should now within a few Dayes bee delivered.' 
It proved, accordingly. 

' Margaret Rule. 

' This is related in Mather's account of Margaret Rule, printed in Calef , More 
Wonders of the Invisible World, 8. The "man in while" or the "white man" 
played a prominent part in .the Salem tragedy. 

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176 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Besides the other praying and pious Meetings, which I 
have been continually serving, iA our Neighbourhood; a 
little after this Time, a company of poor Negroes, of their 
own Accord, addressed mee, for my Countenance, to a 
Design which they had, of erecting such a Meeting for the 
Welfare of their miserable Nation that were Servants 
among us. I allowed their Design and went one Evening 
and pray'd and preach'd (on Ps. 68. 31.') with them; and 
gave them the following Orders, which I insert only for 
Curiositie of the Occasion. 

Wee, the miserable Children of Adam and of Noah, thankfully 
admiring and accepting the free Grace of God, that offers to save us 
from our Miseries by the Lord Jesus Christ, freely resolve, with His 
Help to become the Servants of that Glorious Lord. 

And that wee may bee assisted in the Service of our Heavenly 
Master, wee now join together in a Company, wherein the following 
Rides are to bee observed. 

I. It shall be our Endeavour, to meet the Evening after the 
Sabbath; and pray together by Turns, one to begin, and another to 
conclude the Meeting; and between the two Prayers, a Psalm shall 
bee sung, and a Sermon repeated. This Way would wee spend the 
Evening, which wee observe too many of our Condition, to mispend 
unto the Dishonour of God, and the Prcejudice of those to whom they 
do belong. 

IL Our coming to the Meeting shall never be without the Leave 
of such as have Power over us: and wee will bee careful that our 
Meeting may begin and conclude, between the Hours of seven and 
nine; and that wee may not bee unseasonably absent from the Families 
whereto wee may pertain. 

HL As wee will, with the Help of God, at all Times avoid all 
wicked Company, so, wee will recei\'e none into our Meeting but such 
as have sensibly reformed their Lives, from all manner of Wickedness. 
And therefore, none shall bee admitted without the Knowledge and 
Consent of the Minister of God in this Place; unto whom wee will 
also carry every Person that seeks for an Admission among us, to bee 
by him, examined, instructed and exhorted. 

' " Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands 
unto OtxI." 

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DECEMBER, 1693 I77 

IV. Wee will, as often as may bee, obtain some wise and good 
Man, of the English in the Neighbourhood; and especially the Officers 
of the Church to look in upon us, and by their Presence and Council, 
do what they think fitting for us. 

V. If any of our Number fall into the Sin of Drunkenness, or 
Swearing, or Cursing or Lying, or Stealing, or notorious Disobedience 
or Unfaithfulness to their Masters, wee will admonish him, of his Mis- 
carriage; and forbid his coming to the Meeting for at least one Fort- 
night; and except hee then come with great Signs and Hopes of his 
Repentance, wee will utterly exclude him, with blotting his Name out of 
our List. 

VI. If any of our Society defile himself with Fornication, wee 
will give him our Admonition; and so debar him from the Meeting, 
at least half a Year; nor shall hee return to it, ever any more, without 
exemplary Testimonies of his becoming a new Creature. 

Vn. Wee will, as wee have Opportunity, sett ourselves, to do 
all the good Wee can to the other Negro-Servants in the Town; and 
if any of them should at unfit Hours bee abroad, much more, if any 
of them should run away from their Masters, wee will afford them no 
Shelter; but wee will do what in us lies, that they may bee discovered 
and punished: And if any of us, are found faulty in this Matter, they 
shall bee no longer of us. 

VIII. None of our Association, shall bee absent, from our Meeting, 
without giving a Reason of the Absence; and if it bee found that any 
have pretended unto their Owners, that they came unto the Meeting, 
when they were otherwise and elsewhere employ'd, wee will faithfully 
inform their owners and also do what wee can to reclaim such a person, 
from all such evil Courses for the future.' 

The Rest of the Winter, brought little with it, that was 
remarkable.' 

I reviewed and revived, the Orders of our young Men's 

'These "Rules" were printed as a broadside after 1706, with a ninth rule 
adde4: " IX. It shall be expected from every one in the society, that he 
learn the Catechism; And therefore, it shall be one of our usual Exercises, for 
one of us, to ask the Questions, and for all the rest in their order, to say the 
Answers in the Catechism; either the New-English Catechism, or the Assemblies 
Catechism, or the Catechism in the Negro Christianized." This last work, by 
Mather, was not printed until 1706. 

•"31 i. 10 m. [December.] This Day our Congregation made a Collection of 
about Fifty Three Pounds, for the Redemption of two Persons, that were in Turkish 
Captivity." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the Second Church, n. 

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lyS DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Meetings, and went and preached unto them: to prevent 
the Snares of Satan, which may threaten their welfare, 
(There is a copy thereof since printed, at the End of my 
Book of, Early Religion.^) 

Considering, that there is a good Nimaber of poor and 
old People, in our Alms-house, who can not often come to 
the public Worship of God, especially at this Time of the 
year, I went and spent an Afternoon, I pray'd, and I 
preach'd (on Jam. 2. 5.) among them; with the comfort- 
able Assistence, and, I hope. Acceptance of Heaven. 

And one memorable Providence, I must not forgett. 
A young Woman being arrested, possessed, afflicted by evil 
Angels, her Tormentors made my Image or Picture to appear 
before her,* and then made themselves Masters of her 
Tongue so far, that shee began in her Fits to complain that 
I threatened her and molested her, tho' when shee came out 
of them, shee own'd, that they could not so much as make 
my dead Shape do her any Harm, and that they putt a 
Force upon her Tongue in her Exclamations. Her greatest 
Out-cries when shee was herself, were, for my poor Prayers 
to bee concerned on her behalf. 

Being hereupon extremely sensible, how much a mali- 
cious Toym and Land, would insult over mee, if such a 
lying Piece of a Story should fly abroad, that the Divels in 
my Shape tormented the Neighbourhood, I was putt upon 
some Agonies, and singular Salleys and Efforts of Soul, in 
the Resignation of my Name unto the Lord; content that if 
Hee had no further service for my Name, it should bee torn 
to pieces with all the Reproches in the world. But I cried 
imto the Lord as for the Deliverance of my Name, from the 
Malice of Hell, so for the Deliverance of the young Woman, 
whom the Powers of Hell had now siezed up>on. And 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. Early Religion appeared from 
the press in 1694, printed by Benjamin Harris for Michael Perry. 

• " A Viper, speedily and happily shaken oft! " Written in the margin. 

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JANUARY, 1693-94 179 

behold! Without any further Noise, the possessed Person, 
upon my praying by her, was deUvered from her Captivity, 
on the very same Day that shee fell into it; and the whole 
Plott of the Divel, to reproach a poor Servant of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, was defeated. 

About the middle of January, my little and my only, 
Katharin, was taken so dangerously sick, that small Hope 
of her Life was left unto us. In my Distress, when I saw 
the Lord thus quenching the Coal that was left unto mee, and 
rending out of my Bosom one that had lived so long with 
mee, as to steal a Room there, and a Lamb that was indeed 
imto mee as a Daughter, I cast myseK at the Feet of His 
Holy Soveraignty. 

When I was going to resign the dying Child, in a Prayer 
for that purpose over it, I took the Bible in my Hand, 
resolving to seek and read first, some agreeable Portion of 
the Scripture. 

The first Place; that accidentally fell under my View 
was, the Story of our Lords raising the little Daughter of the 
Rider of the Synagogue, in the 8th Chapter of Luke. Amazed 
at the Pertinency of this Place, I readd it with Tears, and 
then with more Tears tum'd it into a Prayer; wherein I 
freely gave up this ChUd unto the Lord, assured that it, 
I®" and whatever Children Hee ever gave mee, should bee 
the Temples of His good Spirit, the Subjects of His King- 
dome, and the Vessels of His Glory forever. But I also 
begg'd for the Life of the Child in this World; promising to 
the Lord, with His Help, That I would bring her up for 
Him ; and that I would likewise assay to do some special 
Service quickly for the rising Generation in this Land. 

Immediately, the Child fell into a critical and plentiful 
bleeding, and recovered from that Hour, unto the Admiration 
of us all. 

This Day, to prepare my own Heart for all Events which 

threatned my Family, and express what should bee in the 

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l8o DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Heart of others on such Events, I preached a Sermon on 
those words, The Lord is able to give thee mttch more than this.^ 
Memorandum. (Tho tis hardly worth remembring) 
Many Families of my Flock, residing on t'other side the 
water, putt themselves unto considerable Trouble, every 
Lord's-Day, to attend upon my Ministry. Now, tho' it 
would be a considerable Diminution of my Auditory, yett 
I have often called upon them, to gather and settle a Church 
among themselves, and offered them all the Assistence that 
I could possibly give them, in their doing so. At length, 
perceiving, that the Thing which hindred them, was, that it 
would bee too great an Expence for so small a Village, to 
maintain their Minister themselves I made them an Offer, 
that if they would furnish themselves with a worthy Minis- 
ter, I would assist his Maintenance as far as I could, and 
even abate my own poor Salary for it. They wondred at 
the Generosity of these Tenders; and I glorifyed the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and His Gospel, by making them. Neverthe- 
less they never Accepted them.^ 

• J Chron. 25. 9. 

' "igd. I m. [March, 1694.] This Day, Mary Cooly, one by Covenant under 
ecclesiastical Inspection in this Church, having been convicted of li\ing in Adultery, 
with many Aggravations of her Crime, and being so far from giving due Discoveries 
of Repentance, that she is fled from the Admonitions that should have brought her 
to Repentance, the DiscipUne of our Lord, whereto the Concurrence of our Brethren 
was the preceding Lord's Day expressed, was this Day attended. Though she were 
absent, yett, in the public Assembly, the Pastor, using many Words, relating 
thereto, both before and after, passed the following Censure: 

"In the Name of the Glorious Lord Jesus Christ, I do declare that this unhappy 
M. C. is cutt off from the ecclesiastical I'riviledges and Expectations, which per- 
tain to such as are in Covenant with the Churches of God. 

"I declare her to belong visibly unto the doleful and woful Kingdome of 
Satan, the Ruler of the Darkness of this World. 

"I declare her to bee a Person whom wee cannot own, for a Disciple of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, but one from whom the Disciples of our Lord are to withdraw, 
as from one that walks disorderly. 

"And this first Senlcnce is now passeil upon her, as a Rcpr.Tsentation of a more 
dreadful Sentence to bee passed upon her in the Day when the Lord Jesus Christ 
shall judge the World; except it bee prevented by a seasonable Repentance: — 
whirh Repentance, God of his infmilo Mercy bestow upon her. 

"Sd. ^ m. [April.] Two young Women, belonging to our Communion, to 

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AUGUST, 169S 181 

wit, Rebeckah Adams and Alice Pennel, having been guilty of consulting an 
ungodly Fortune-teller, in the Neighbourhood, with desires to be informed of some 
secret and future things, this Day in public made a poenitent Acknowledgment of 
that Miscarriage, and so the Church was reconciled unto them. 

" 17 (f. 4 m. [Jiirif.] Baptized my Abigail. 

"25 d. 2 m. [April, 1695] This Day a public Fast being observed through the 
Province, this Opportunitie was taken for the Ordination of the Deacons formerly 
elected by our Church, .\ccordingly in the Close of the Afternoon, after distinct 
Votes for them, Mr. John Atwood, Mr. Obadiah Gill, [and] Mr. John Barnard, 
were with solemn Imposition of Hands, from my Father and self, ordained unto the 
Office of Deacons in the Church. 

" II <i. 6 m. [i4ugu;(.] This Day our Congregation made a Cnllcrtion nf about 
four score pounds, for three young Men in Turkish Slavery." Cotton Mather's MS. 
Records cf the Second Church, 11. 



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1696 

THE XXXIVth year, 

Of a Life, Sweel'd away in horrible Sin and Sloth! 

It was said of a certain Scotch Divine; that hee did eat, 
and drink, and sleep, the Kingdome oj Heaven. 

When shall my too earthly Soul, arrive to this Happiness! 

The Jewes Report of R. Zadok, That hee did so mortify 
himself with Fastings, that hee was commonly called, whT\ 
Chalsha, that is the weak I 

Streposo words upon Stephen. Act. 6. 8. Stephen fidl of 
Faith and power did great wonders and miracles among the 
people. 

"Per Swa/ieis inteUiguntur Incitationes et Impulsus 
spiritus Sancti, ex quibus poterant observare praesentiam et 
promptitudinem spiritus, ad perpetrationem Miraculorum. 
Vide phrasin scripturae Jud. 14. 6. 19, et 15. 14. i. Sam. 
10. 10. Cum spiritus per hos volebat facere miraculum, 
non solebat Extemo verbo promissionem edere ; sed irruebat 
in eos. i. e. ahquo motu, et IncitaLione aliqua, praesentiam 
et promptitudinem suam ad Miraculum ipsis insinuabat, et 
sic promissionem miracuH ipsis dabat. Cum Homines huic 
promissioni credebant et illius Fiducia miraculum edebant, 
fiebat Miraculum. Cum autem Ejusmodi Incitationes 
Spiritus non fiunt, etiamsi adfit Fides, Miracula tamen non 
fiunt. 

Observaticum. When he said in the Old Testament, 
The Spirit of the Lord came upon these and those, tis in the 
New Testament still said, of what they then did. They did 

[182] 
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FEBRUARY, 1695-96 183 

*■/ by Faith. It seems the Spirit of the Lord, still produced 
a particvilar and an extraordinary Faith, in those blessed 
Hero's! 

THE XXXIVth year OF MY AGE, 

12 d. 12 m. [February.] This Day being thirty three 
of Age, compleat, I sett it apart, for secret Thanksgivings, 
unto the Lord JESUS CHRIST, the God of my Life.' 

I made those Words of the Apostle the Rule of my Pro- 
ceedings, in the Duties of the Day, Act. 26. 22. 

Having obtained Help of God, I continue to this Day. 

I considered, what continuance the Help of the Lord 
JESUS CHRIST, hath, to this Day, granted unto my Life, 
and the comfortable Circumstances of my Life; and then, 
what Acknowledgment I shovild make of the Help which I 
have had from the Lord JESUS CHRIST, in this Continu- 
ance. 

My Meditations, I did make the Matter of my Confes- 
sions before the Lord; In part whereof, I did call my 
Consort also to bear her Part. 

And having digested these Things into a Sermon proper 
for my Neighbours, I preached it in the Evening unto a 
private Meeting of Christians, with whom I spent the Even- 
ning. 

On the Day following, I enjoyed, a singular presence of 
the Lord Jesus Christ with mee, after a lively and wrestling 
Faith for it; in preaching the Lecture, to a greater Assembly. 
I considered, that wee had many poor among us; and that, 
the Truths of the Gospel, would come with some very par- 
ticvdar Accepts, upon them, to render them Acceptable, and 
profitable, if I should, as much as I cotdd, accommodate 
them, vmto the Condition of the Poor. So, I preached this 
Day, on Math. ii. 5. The Poor have the Gospel preached 

' Sewall in bis Diary, i. 430, records an interesting incident in bis own family, 
wbere his daughter Betty gave every evidence of a temporary insanity, due to 
reading the sermons of the day, and among them one of Mather's. 

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184 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

unto them: reserving a second Sermon, on that Subject, 
for my next Lecture. 

22 d. 12 m. I sett apart this Day for secret PRAYER, 
with Fasting in my Study. And as I intended it for a Day 
of Humiliation, such an one the Lord made it unto mee. 
For the main Exercise with mee, that gave a Character to 
this Day, was, a Reflection, upon the manifold Filthiness of 
my Heart and Life, and the horrible Aggravations of that 
Filthiness, especially from the great Obhgations to Sanctity, 
which I have sinned against. My Soul was exceedingly 
humbled, in my Confessions of my own Vileness before the 
Lord,' and I confessed, that if the Lord should not only 
expose to the whole World, all my Abominations hitherto 
committed, but also leave mee unto such an infatuating 
Possession of Satan, that I should commit those prodigious 
Things, which may make mee a terrible Exemple to all His 
Churches, like some that I have known, there would bee 
no less Righteousness than Soveraignty in such a Dispensa- 
tion. Yett, lying at the Foot of that Soveraignty, I cryed 
unto God, that His Free-Grace would impute unto mee the 
perfect Obedience of my Surety, the Lord JESUS CHRIST, 
the ojffer whereof, with His Help, I now thankfully accepted: 
And I then further cried unto Him, that Hee would yett 
accept mee to serve the Lord JESUS CHRIST, and grant 
that His Holy Spirit, tho' grieved by mee, may yett glori- 
ously sieze mee, fill mee, use mee, and make mee a very 
holy, and a very useful Man. Many other Matters, I this 
Day also spread before the Lord, referring to my particular 
Opportunities of serving Him, in my Ministry. t&' And I 
fervently pleaded with Him, that England, Scotland, and 
Ireland, might speedily undergo, mighty and happy Changes, 
that should bee gloriously subservient imto His Interests; 
which Request, wUl doubtless bee accomplished. 

' Sewall manifested the same intention, describing himsell in his prayers as 
"beyond conception vile." Diary, I. 434. 

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FEBRUARY, 1695-96 185 

After this Day, I continued full of such dejected and 
abasing Thoughts, of my own extraordinary Vileness, as did 
fill mee in the Day itself. 

Oh! the Lord is laying of mee low! 

So I wrote; and so it must come to pass. For 

28 d. 12 m. Friday. Early this morning, my Daughter 
Mehetabel, dyed suddenly, in its nurses Arms; not known 
to bee dying, till it was dead; of some sudden stoppage by 
Wind; the Wind passed over the Flower, and it was presently 
gone! 

The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, helped mee, I hope, 
to a patient and cheerful Submission, under this Calamity: 
tho' I sensibly found, an Assault of Temptation from Satan, 
accompanying of it. 

The Day following, the Child was interr'd, with an 
honourable Funeral: and on one of the Grave-Stones, in 
Faith of the Resurrection, I wrote. Your Bones shall 

FLOURISH LIKE AN HeRB.' 

And being in course, to compose a Sermon, for the 
Lord's-Day, on Luk. 2. 15. The Angels were gone away from 
them into Heaven; I found a singular Providence of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, in ordering it, that under this new Death 
upon my Family, I should have my Meditations called unto 
that Subject; that there is a glorious Heaven, whereunto 
heavenly Spirits do go away, when they leave the Eartli. Four 
of mine, are now flown thither before mee ! 

On this occasion, I made and sang, this hymn, of 
Job. I. 21. 

I stript of earthly, Comforts am; 
Stript, lett mee duely mourn: 
Naked from Earth at first I came, 

And naked I return. 
What, but Gifts from above, were they? 
GOD gave them unto mee. 

' Isaiah Lxvi. 14. Mather also uses the phrase in the opening paragraph of his 
life of Sir WUUam Phips. 

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1 86 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

And now they take their flight away, 

Taken by GOD they bee. 
The Name of my Great GOD, I will 

Forever then adore; 
Hee's wise, and just, and soveraign still. 

And good forevermore. 

Memorandum. This morning, in my study, praying for 
each of my Children by Name (as I use to do) I left the Name 
of my Mehetabd unmentioned. I wondred at this Omis- 
sion, in myself and blam'd and chid myself, that I should 
bee so sottish, as having but three children to forgett one of 
them. Now, I had no sooner done my prayers, but the 
messenger gave mee to understand that the Child had been 
for above an Hour before, by its Death, gone beyond the 
reach or use, of our Prayers. (Alas, the Child was overlaid 
by the Nurse !)' 

1696. 

I considered, that the memorable Changes undergone, 
and Actions performed, in the Life of our late Govemour, 
Sir William Phips, had very many Things in them, to dis- 
play the glorious Power, and Wisdome, and Grace, of the 
Lord JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore I did, with much 
Elaboration, write the History thereof, and give it imto 
his Lady, that in Time convenient, it may bee sent unto 
London, to bee there published. I entituled, it, not without 
very good Reason, Pietas ik Patriam: and how many 
wayes I have propounded unto myself, in this Composure, 

' This paragraph was entered in the margin. The sentence in parenthesis 
was added at a later day — the parenthesis being Mather's. 

Mather uses the same idea in many connections, and what his father had 
experienced he repeats as his own, or reads into his father's life what he believes to 
have been an experience of his own. Increase had "for diverse Lordi-Days made 
the Death of that Miserable King [Philip], a Petition which in his PublU Prayers 
he somewhat enlarged upon. But on one Lords-Day he quite forgot it; for which 
Forgelfiilness 1 well Remember, that I heard him wondering at, and Blaming of, 
himself one I'.vening. Howc\cr, he was more Satisfied, when a few Hours after, 
there came to Town the Tidings, That before That Lords-Day, the Thing v-'os 
accomplished." 

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MAKCH, 1695-96 187 

to serve my Lord Jesus Christ, it is needless for mee to 
mention. 

It was published in London.^ 

2id. im. [March] Tis high Time for mee to bee again, 
with the Exercises of a secret Fast, on my Knees before the 
Lord. Alas, I have starved my Soul, by making it a whole 
Month, since I was last engaged in such Devotions! 

This Day, I devoted unto extraordinary Supphcations 
in my Study. And after I had, with much Bitterness, 
himibled myself imder the Causes and the Tokens of the 
Divine Displeasure against mee, the Lord not only enabled 
mee to rely on the Suretiship and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, 
for my Peace with Heaven, but also assured mee of my 
Reconciliation: so that I said, / may now dare to dy, when- 
ever I am called thereunto t 

After I had spread many particular Concerns before the 
Lord, I concluded the Day, with a Prayer, which brought 
with it, the Rewards of the whole Day. 

Being prostrate, in the Dust on my Study-floor, after 
many Fears of a sad, heavy, woful Heart, that the Holy 
Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, grieved by my Miscarriages, 
would forsake mee utterly, that Spirit of the Lord made 
an inexpressible Descent upon mee. A Stream of Tears 
gushed out of my Eyes, upon my Floor, while I had my Soul 
inexpressibly irradiated with Assurances, of especially two 
or three Things, bore in upon mee. 

' Written in the margin. 

It contained a brief prefatory letter signed by Nathaniel Mather, John Howe 
and Matthew Mead, in which brevity was made good by fulsome flattery of the 
author. He is described as "a person of such well known integrity, prudence and 
veradty, that there is not any cause to question the truth of what he here relates, 
and moreover this writing of his is adorned with a very grateful variety of learning, 
and doth contain such surprizing workings of Providence, as do well deserve due 
notice and observation." Follows a letter of Nathaniel Mather, dedicating the 
work to the Earl of Bellomont. Both letters are dated April 27, 1697, in which 
year the book was printed. It is included in the Magnolia, Bk. n. 35. The 
wife's name was Mary, widow of John Hull (not the mint-master) and daughter 
of Roger Spencer, of Saco. 

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l88 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

«er Particularly, That the Spirit of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, would more than ever, take Possession of my 
Tongue, and cause mee with a more free, and fit, and use- 
ful Speech, than ever to glorify Him. 

And, That the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, would 
give mee a more exact Understanding of the Times, and help 
mee to discern this Time. 

I®" And, that there were mighty and happy Changes 
to bee speedily brought upon England, and Scotland, and 
Ireland, by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, marvellously 
lifting up a Standard, against the impious Men and Things, 
that have come in upon those Kingdomes like a Flood. 

I particularly besought the Lord, That I might bee 
helped by Him, to handle the Doctrine of Grace, in my 
Ministry, so as to glorify Him; and that His good Spirit 
would lead mee unto all Truth, about this Doctrine.' 

This is a Request which I have also, in several Dayes of 
Prayer, formerly insisted on.' 

Herewithal, it was a Perswasion, which I entertained 
from Scripture, but with Wonder, that I had my oum Angel: 
That there is one good Angel of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
which is at present peculiarly My Angel. I now mourned, 
for the Grief which I had given unto that Angel of the Lord, 
when I have grieved the Holy Spirit of the Lord, by my 
Sins against the Lord; and I prayed, that I might by the 
Holy Spirit bee made more agreeable to this Angel, and so 
enjoy his very peculiar Ministration for my Good, in those 
Instances, which the infinite Wisdome of Heaven, should 
appoint it for. 

On the Day following at the Lord's Table, the Spirit of 
my Lord Jesus Christ, gave mee a singular Satisfaction, of 
Soul, in my Reliance upon the Righteousness of the Lord 
Jesus Christ alone, even, on the Merit, of the Obedience, 
which Hec yeelded unto God, as our Surety, for my Atone- 

' These two paragraphs arc written in the margin. 

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APKIL, 1696 189 

ment and Acceptance with the God of Heaven.' More- 
over, 

28 d. im. I was again, engaged in the Exercises of a 
secret Fast, before the Lord, on the very same occasions, 
that I was this Day Se'nnight so employed. 

I thought, that I could not obtain, and enjoy the As- 
sistances of the Holy Spirit, necessary to the Discharge of 
my Ministry, and necessary for the several Conditions, and 
Relations, whereinto the Lord may bring mee, except, I 
bee much in Prayer, with Fasting, before the Lord. I soon 
loose that serious, that gracious, that generous, and that 

' " 23 <f . I m [^farch.] The Brethren of the Church mett with us in the Meet- 
ing-house. 

"Evidences of a threefold Crime committed by Mrs. Hanna Bishop, now 
absent at Rhode Island, were produced. 

"i. That altho' her Husband had not been gone a Twelvemonth to sea, nor 
was there any .\dvice come of his Death, one way or another, yett shee made 
Overtures and Promises of Marriage with another Man, (one Mr. Daniel Hodgson), 
which, if they had been consummated, her Offence had, by the Law of the Province, 
been capital. 

"2. That altho' shee were never legally and formally married unto the Man 
to whom shee made the Engagements of Marriage, yctt shee declared herself willing 
to converse with him as her Husband. 

"3. That in her Vowes of Marriage to the Man, shee declared with an Oath 
upon the Bible, that shee would never marry with any other Man, while hee was 
living on the Earth. 

"These things were proved, by the Oathes of William Smilh, and Edward 
Davis, taken before the Governor of Rhode Island, as is asserted in a Certificate by 
him signed. 

"And by the Testimonies of Mary Webster, senior and junior, and Sarah Buck- 
master, to whom the said Bishop owned all the premise^. 

"The Church hereupon agreed, that Mrs. Bishop should immediately bee 
written unto, advised of what is testified against her, suspended from the Com- 
munion, admonished to repent of the Crimes proved against her; and within two 
or three Months' time give the Satisfaction expected by the People of God: or else 
the Church would proceed then to cutt her off from the Communion of the Faithful. 

"At the said Meeting, the Vote of the Church devolved on the three Deacons, 
Mr. Ativood, Mr. GiU, Mr. Bernard, the Care and Power of ordering the Seats in 
the Meeting-house. 

"The Vote of the Church also then desired and empowered Lieut. R. Way, with 
the Assistance of the Deacons, to endeavour the Recovery of what is due to the 
Church on the Account of the Legacy of Capt. Scarlet deceased, by a due [iroccss 
of Law, with all convenient Expedition." Cotlon Mather's MS. Records of the Second 
Church, ri. 

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igO DIARY OF COTTON MATHES 

watchful, and useful, Disposition of Mind, that I gain, by 
these Devotions, if I do for many Dayes intennitt them. 
To bee a Christian, and a Minister too, Oh! tis no easy 
Matter. 

This Day was not altogether so full of Joy and Heaven 
and internal Irradiation, as my last; yett, I hope, it leaves 
a Savour upon my Soul. 

One special Request, which I carried imto the Lord this 
Day, was for the Preservation, and Restoration, of the 
worthy Minister of Salem, that is Mr. Noyes,^ who is dan- 
gerously ill. 

In the following Week, there was a public Fast kept by 
the whole Province; namely on 2 d. 2 m. [Aprii\, Thursday. 

1 had made considerable Progress, in my preparation 
of my Sermon, for the Fast; but coming to understand, that 
my Subject, and my Discourse, happened odly, to bee very 
much the same with my Father's, I was putt upon other 
Studies. And there was a singular Providence in my being 
so; For it was resolved on Wednesday, that on the Fast, the 
Day following, there should bee a Collection for the Releef 
of the Poor, in this Time of extreme Scarcitie. To promote 
the Charity of such a Collection, I thought, would bee a very 
angelical Service; and if I took the words of an Angel, for 
my Text, I thought, my Assistances would not bee the less 
for my doing so. Accordingly, after a strange Impression 
on my Spirit, while -I was in secret, on my Knees before 
Him, that the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, would bee 
sensibly and gloriously present in my Congregation, I did, 
on the Fast, preach (on Act. 10. 4. Thy prayers and Alms 
are come up.) for two Hours, more or less, unto a very 
great Assembly with very singular Help from Heaven. In 
Prayers also, I received and uttered Assurances, that the 

' Nicholas Noyes, son of Nicholas Noyes, of Newbury, and nephew of Rev. 
James Noyea, the first minister of Newbury; ordained at Salem, November 14, 
1683. He died December 13, 1717. 

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APRIL, 1696 191 

terrible Famine, this Day deprecated, should not over- 
whehn us. And my Proposals for the Succour of the Poor, 
were so prospered, that the highest Contributions in the 
other Assemblies of the Town, did not arise to near the Sum 
that was gathered in ours.' 

Memorandum, In my Sermon, I uttered such words, as 
these, under a marvellous Impression upon my Spirit. The 
Great God, is about the shaking of England, and the shaking 
of Scotland, and the shaking of Ireland; very tremendous 
will be the Shake, that the Lord is giving to the Kingdome, 
yea, the Lord wUl once more shake not the Earth only btit the 
Heaven also. 

Tho' at this Time, wee knew nothing of the Matter, yett 
in a few weeks after this, wee heard, of the mighty Shake, 
that was now giving to the Kingdomes by the French Inva- 
sion and the plot of Killing the King.' 

16 d. 2 w. [April.] The unusual Scarcity of provisions, 
already distressing, yett further threatening of this province, 
caused mee to draw up, as moving an Epistle, as I could, 
unto the Ministers of Connecticut-Colony, that they would 
prevail with the Government in that Colony, to remitt the 
Embargo which they have laid upon their Com, unto our 
exceeding Detriment. This Letter of mine, the neighbour- 
ing Ministers, did sett their Hands unto; and I considered 
with myself, that the providing of Corn, for a poor People 
in a Wilderness, was to be like the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
His Holy Angels. 

iSd. 2 m. I spent this Day, in the Exercises of a sacred 
and a secret Fast, on the same Occasions, that had invited 
mee, in some later weeks, to bee thus before the Lord. 
And the Direction of Heaven, which I want for my bearing 
some singular Testimonies imto the Lord Jesus Christ, at 

' From the Church Record the amount of this collection is obtained — fifty- 
five pounds and odd money. 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. 

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192 DIARY OP COTTON MATHER 

the approaching Day of Election of Counsellors for the 
Province, to the Service of preaching whereat, the Lieut. 
Govemour and Council have this week chosen mee. This 
was a further matter of Supplications, which I must bring 
to God, on such a Day. 

1®°- On this Day, prostrate in the Dust, on my Study- 
floor and melted into Tears of Joy, I Received fresh Assur- 
ances, that the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, would fill 
mee marvellously, and gloriously, and that Hee would 
quickly employ mee in eminent Services for His Interests. 

Moreover, there being sore Degrees of the terrible Famine 
advanced upon us, I considered that it was my Duty, to 
bee much in Fasting before the Lord, that so I might 
procure Food, for my distressed Neighbours. There were 
three renowned in the Scripture, for Fasting; and the Lord 
made use of all those three, to be miraculous Feeders of 
other Men. 

About this Time, I considered what special Truth, I 
might glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, by recommending to 
the Countrey, in this Time of Scarcity. And thereupon, I 
did, in the Coimtrey-Lecture, to a great Assembly, with a 
great Assistence, preach from those words, Math. 14. 17. 
Wee have here but five Loaves. And from the Miracle of our 
Lord's multiplying the Loaves, I press'd the Things, which I 
judged agreeable unto our present Circumstances. I saw, 
so much of the Hand of the Lord Jesus Christ, in ordering 
this peece of work for me, that I cannot leave it unre- 
membred. 

2 cf. 3 w. [Afay.] Satureday. It is now a Fortnight, since 
I laid myself in the Dust, with in the Exercises of a secret 
Fast before the Lord. And such is the treacherous Wicked- 
ness of my Heart that if any longer Time, should pass mee, 
without such Exercises, I should loose very much of that 
Walk in the Spirit whith T would alwayes maintain. 

This Day, (the Occasions whereof, were the same with 
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MAY, 1696 193 

the last,) I did exceedingly abhor myself before the Lord, 
for my extraordinary Vileness, and admire, that Hee did 
not reject mee, with Abhorrence forever. But, I received 
Assurance, that the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
is imputed unto mee, and that by this Righteousness, I am 
entitled unto the Favours of Heaven. 

Afterwards prostrate on my Study-floor, when I was 
representing before the Lord, that I was employ'd in great 
Work for Him, whereimto I had no Sufficiency, and my 
Heart was often ready to sink, with Fear that I should not 
go well thro' my Work, which is also His, my Heart was 
after an •©" astonishing Manner, melted before the Lord, 
with a strange Assurance, which I received, even as if it 
had been spoken from Heaven unto mee, that I shall cer- 
tainly bee carried comfortably thro' every Article of Work, 
that shall hereafter occurr unto wee, in my fulfilling of my 
Ministry: Yea that I should bee suppUed, with Sense, and 
with Strength, and with Speech too, (and a greater Freedom 
of it, thro' the Holy Spirit of Christ possessing the Organs 
of it, than ever I yett enjoyed:) In the uttering of which 
Assurance, my Tears ran down upon my Study-floor, with 
Joy unspeakable and full of Glory. 

Moreover, it being a Time, of unusual scarcity for 
Bread, in this Place, I thought it my Duty, to make this 
one Occasion of my Fasting. I would fast, that my Neigh- 
bours might bee/ed. 

Now, I will take this Place, to Record the great Experience, 
which my poor Family has had, of the care which the Lord 
Jesus Christ, [showed] concerning us, in this Time of Scarcity. 
The Supplies, that Hee sent in unto us, were plentiful, 
and wonderful; and sometimes the season of them, just at 
the very Time, when I had been expressing what Charity 
I could, for the Releef of others, was very remarkable. 

Remember, my Soul: the Eye of the Lord is upon 

them that Fear him: upon them that Hope in His Mercy; 

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ig4 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

to deliver their Soul fro7n Death, and to keep them alive in 
Famine! 

i6 d. 3 w. Satureday. I was again employ 'd in the 
Exercises of a secret Fast, before the Lord; on the same 
Occasions, that have called for the like Humiliations, in 
some former Weeks. 

In the Close of the Day, giving myself up to bee possessed 
by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, that I might bee 
employed in great Service for Him, I had fresh Assurances 
of the Divine Favour to mee, in this blessed matter. 

Moreover, a great scandal being reported of an aged 
Minister in the Town, whereby much Dishonour is like to 
arise unto the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and confusion 
unto at least one of His Churches, I thought it my duty to 
Humble myself on this woful occasion, and cry mightily to 
God, that I also might not bee tempted, and that wee might 
bee all directed how to steer in the DiflBculties hereby laid 
before us. 

22 d. T,m. Friday. Tho' it bee not a week since I was 
engaged in the Exercises of a secret Fast before the Lord, 
yett I saw myself surrounded with Occasions to devote this 
Day likewise to such Exercises; And the occasions were the 
same with the former: especially to obtain the presence of 
the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ with mee (whereto I 
resign myself) in the Services of next week, and the other 
hard Services, which I have before mee. 

23 d. 3 m. Satureday. This Evening I mett with an 
Experience, which it may not bee unprofitable for mee, to 
remember. 

I had been for about a Fortnight vext with an extraor- 
dinary Heart-Burn ; and none of all the Common Medednes 
would remove it, tho' for the present some of them would a 
little releeve it. At last, it grew so much upon mee, this 
Evening, that I was almost ready to faint under it; but 
under my fainting Pain, this Reflection came iiito my 
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MAY, 1696 19s 

mind: there was this among the Sufferings and the Com- 
plaints, of our Lord Jesus Christ, my Heart, like Wax, is 
melted in the Midst of my Bowels. Hereupon, I beg'd of the 
Lord, that for the sake of the horrible Heart-hum under- 
gone by my Saviour, I might bee delivered from the other 
and lesser Heart-burn, wherewith I was now incommoded. 
Immediately, it was darted into my Mind, that I had Sir 
Philip Paris's Plaister in my House, which was good for 
Inflammarions; and laying this Plaister on, I was cured of 
my Malady. 

After this, tho' I was humbled into this Feebleness, yett 
the Lord, in a few Dayes carried mee thro' many Services 
full of Difficulty. On the Lord's-Day, I preach'd unto a 
great Assembly, with such excessive Labours, that I was 
thereby yett more unfitted for the Labours of the approach- 
ing Election. On the Tuesday, I therefore abased myself 
before the Lord, and that I might keep myself under a 
lasting Abasement, I composed, what I have entituled, The 
true Picture of Cotton Mather, wherein I have, with black, 
but yett with tru£. Characters, described my own vile- 
ness at such a Rate, that it cannot bee look'd upon 
without Horror of Soul; but I resolve often to look 
upon it. On the Wednesday, came the opportunity for 
mee, to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ, by my speaking to 
my whole Countrey; which I did, on i. Sam. 7. 6. with 
such wonderful Assistences from Him, as answered all 
the Prayers, and exceeded all the Hopes, which had been 
about that matter.' The Day following I en joy 'd further 
Assistences from the Lord, in Discourses among the 
Ministers of the Province, about the important Matters 
that lay before us. 

On the Lord's-Day ensuing, [May 31,] I did not propose 
to preach at all; but about an Hour before the forenoon 
Exercises, the illness on the Minister of the South-church, 

' Sewall notes that it was a rainy day, so the text was appropriate. 

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196 DIARY OF COTTON MATHES 

in Boston, made the Deacons apply themselves imto mee, 
to carry on those Exercises, in their great Congregation.' 
And the Lord gave mee very singular Demonstrations of His 
Presence and Spirit with mee, in my doing so; which Hee 
likewise did, in my Managing some weighty Affayrs of 
Church-Discipline (admonishing a scandalous Offendor) in 
my own Congregation, in the Afternoon.' And hee con- 
tinued still to do so, in my Lecture, when I gave the second 
part of my Election-Sermon, to the Great and General 
Assembly, the Thursday following. When, in Prayer also, 
before that vast Congregation, my wrestling and melted 
Heart, expressed a strange Faith, on the Lord Jesus Christ 
that wonderful Releefs would bee sent in unto us, against 
the Famine that was now distressing us. 

Memorandum. The Night following, there arrived, a 
little Fleet of Com, and Floure, to us, which were fear'd to 
have miscarried. 

> "Mr. Willard is so faint with his Flux, that [he] is not able to come abroad, 
and 50 there is a disappointment of the Lord's Supper, which should otherwise have 
been celebrated this day. Mr. Cotton Mather preaches, exhorts us to examine our- 
selves, whether we were prepared for that Ordinance. And said that Humiliation 
for the disappointment, and mourning after Christ, God might malce as profitable 
to us as the Ordinance." Sewall, Diary, i. 427. 

' "This Day the Case of James Fowl was laid before the Church. Hee was 
Clerk of a trained Company in the Town, under Oath for the faithful Discharge of 
his Trust. Nevertheless, hee several Times wanted his Complement of Men upon 
the Watch, even when hee might have had it and it was offered unto him. But 
that hee might conceal the Unfaithfulness, hee ordered the Halberts to bee hid, 
and the two Persons (when there should have been four) upon the Watch, to tell 
the Grand Rounds that their Fellowes had gone out. 

"For the Proof whereof, there were produced, five single Testimonies: All of 
which had been sworn before the Committee of the Militia, who had proceeded 
thereupon to censure him. 

" Great Pains had been taken with him to bring him unto a Sight and Sense 
of his Miscarriages. But hee would not own himself to have been guilty of any 
Thing, but on a bidding his defective Number of Men on the Watch to tell the 
Grand Rounds that the rest were out. 

"The Church therefore agreed, that hee should bee laid under a solemn Ad- 
monition, and therewithal bee suspended from the Communion until satisfactory 
Fruits of that Admonition should bee produceed. 

"The Pastor did accordingly now dispence the Admonition, which the Church 
concurred unto." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the Second Church, n. 

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JUNE, 1696 197 

T d. ^m. [June.] Lords-Day. This Day, in a very great 
Congregation, praying for some of our Neighbours, that are 
in Captivity among the Turks of Zallee, from whence as to 
any hiimane Prospect, Redemption ceaseth forever, I received 
and uttered, my Assurance that the Lord Jesus Christ, had 
some wonderful Thing, to do for the DeUverance of some 
of our Captives.' 

Yea, several Times on the Lord's Dayes, before vast 
AssembUes, my pubUc Prayers, have uttered this Assurance. 
O my sinful Soul, mark the Event! 

l»- For I shall certainly see these poor Captives, wonder- 
fully delivered, in Circumstances, that shall particularly 
furnish mee,^ with Opportunities, to glorify the Lord Jesus 
Christ exceedingly. 

(In the Forty first year of my Life, this thing is wonder- 
fully accompUshed.)' 

13 d. 4 m. This Day, I sett apart, for the Exercises of a 
secret Fast before the Lord; tho' I once this Week already, 
performed the afternoon Exercises of a private Fast, preach- 
ing and praying among the Faithful in our Neighbourhood; 
and I preached and prayed with another Meeting, the last 
Evening. 

One thing for which I fasted, was that I might obtain 
Bread for my Neighbours. 

But Supplies from the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
for my whole Ministry, were the special Desires, which I 
now presented before the Lord. 

And the Manuscripts, which I have designed for the 
Press, here, or in London, I did solemnly commit into the 
Hands of the L[ord] Jesus Christ. 

This Day, was not a Day of much Rapture to mee. 
Yett in the Close of the Day, I had some joyful Assurances, 

' These prisoners called for much compassion and prayer on the part of the 
New Englanders. See 4 CoUecHons, vm. 360. 

• " Poor mee ' ' had been originally written. 

• This paragraph is written in the margin. The parenthesis is Mather's. 

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igS DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

that the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, would yett fit mee 
for and use mee in eminent Services for Him.' 

$d. $m. [Jtdy.] Lords-Day. »W Several Times of late, 
when wrestling with the Lord, for such a wonderful Thing, 
I have received and uttered, a strong Perswasion, that some 
very overturning Dispensations of Heaven, will quickly befal 
the French Empire, and that such a mighty Revolution will 
happen quickly in that Kingdome, as to render the Almighty 
Power of the Lord Jesus Christ, illustrious forever. But 
this Day, in a great Congregation, the Perswasion grew into 
a. fidl Assurance, as I was representing this Matter before 
the Lord, and His People accordingly heard mee declare 
as much among them. 

/ mil wait for the Lord, my God mill hear mee I 
8d. $m. The people of Watertown having had a Str^e 
above half an hundred years old among them, about the 
Place of their Meeting-Iwuse, and the Strife being of late 
grown into an Extremity,^ poor I was chosen, to gi\e them 
a Sermon, on a Day of Humiliation, kept among them on 
this Occasion. Accordingly, this Day I visited them; and 
after my earnest Resignations of myself unto the Spirit of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, for His Directions and Assistences, 
in the hard Services before mee, I did this Day, with a great 
Help from Heaven, preach unto the two Congregations of 
Watertown assembling in one Meeting-house, on Jam. 3. 16. 
Where strife is, there is Confusion and every evil Work. The 
Issue, I must now humbly leave unto the Lord. 

' " 14 d. 4 m. [June] This Day was read unto the Church, a mast poenitent 
and expressive Letter of Mrs. Hannah Bishop unto us: wherein, tho' she might 
have insisted on Rreat Extenuations of her Miscarriage, shee rather wholly con6ned 
herself unto the Language of the deepest Repentance. Moreover, as a further 
Effect of the Admonition that wee sent unto her, shee did herself personally appear 
before the Church and acknowledge what shee had written. Hereupon, the Church 
voted. Satisfaction, and shee was restored unto the Communion." CoUon Mather's 
US. Ruords of the Second Church, ii. See p. 189 n, supra. 

• Two years had passed since Sewall and others had Kiven a decision intended 
tn h( al all differences. Sowall, Leiler Book, 1. 141. 6 Mass. Hist. Collections, i. 

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JULY, 1696 199 

II d. 5 w. Satureday. My having been laboriously em- 
ploy'd at a public Fast three Dayes ago, will not now excuse 
mee from a secret one. The many Causes for Humiliation 
and Supplication, which attend mee, do cause mee to sett 
apart this Day, for secret Prayers before the Lord. 

f®~This Day, as I was crying imto my Lord Jesus 
Christ, and lying before Him, with Agonies of Desire, that 
whereas there were quickly very great Things to bee done for 
His Name and Church in the World, Hee would please to 
accept of such a loathsome Wretch as I am, and employ 
mee to do some of those Things; And pleading, that it was 
doubtless a lawful Thing for mee to desire this Favour; for 
indeed, I had chosen it, as my chief Happiness, to glorify my 
Lord Jesus Christ, and I would relinquish every Thing, 
overlook every Thing, for the sake of this one Thing: I was 
melted into a Flood of Tears, which ran down my Face; 
the Spirit of my Lord Jesus Christ assured mee, that Hee 
would grant mee, that which I thus desired of Him. 

18 d. 5 m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, for the 
Exercises of another secret Fast before the Lord. And I 
will recite the Occasions, with the Proceedings of it. 

Having first confessed and bewayled, my manifold 
Sinfulness before [the] Lord, (wherein, my Meditations in 
course, on Psal. 130. 3. for my Sermon to Morrow, were 
some Assistence imto mee,) and obtained the Hope of 
Pardon, thro' the Lord Jesus Christ. I sett myself to con- 
sider. That, altho' in my Devotions I had still remembred 
the Churches and Interests of my Lord Jesus Christ, abroad 
in the World, yett I had not arrived unto a due Enlarge- 
ment of Soul, in my doing so. 

Wherefore I now lamented before the Lord, the Private- 
ness and Selfishness of Spirit, which in my former Devotion 
had attended mee; and I resolved, that I, as poor and as 
vile, as I am, would now become a Remembrancer unto the 
Lord, for no less than whole Peoples, Nations, and King- 

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200 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

domes. I apprehended with myself that if I would thus lay 
to Heart the Concerns of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the 
State of whole Peoples, and Continue, with extraordinary 
Supplications crying to Heaven, for mercy to them, I should 
bee more Angelically disposed and employed, than I have 
been heretofore; and I should prepare myself also for very 
extensive Services to bee done by mee; and I should enjoy 
unutterable Communications from the Holy Ghost then 
Delighting in mee; yea, and perhaps, Manifestations of 
what the Lord is going to do in the Earth. 

This Day, from the Dust, where I lay prostrate, before 
the Lord, I lifted up my Cries; 

For the coming of the Kingdome of my Lord Jesus 
Christ; and my Acquaintance with the Characters and 
Approches of it. 

For the Conversion of the Jewish Nation, and for my own 
having the Happiness, at some Time or other, to baptise a 
Jew, that should by my Ministry, bee brought home unto 
the Lord.' 

For a mighty, and speedy. Revolution upon the French 
Empire; and the Raising up of eminent Persons to preach 
the pure Gospel in it. 

For the overturning, overturning, overturning of such 
Things, as are displeasing to the Lord Jesus Christ, in the 
British Dominions. 

For the Directing of matters in the next General Court 
of this Province; and the Salvation of the Province, from 
Sword, and Want, as well as other Confusions. 

In my Cries to Heaven, about the Matters, my Spirit 
was rewarded and comforted, with some inexpressible 
Irradiations; and in some Things, I arrived unto joyful 
Assurances, that the Lord had heard my Supplications. 

i»"In the conclusion of the Day, a rapturous, trium- 

' In 1702 Mr. Bradstreet, of Charlestown, baptised Simon, a Jew, for whose 
conversion he was instrumental. Sewall, Diary, n. 65. 

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JULY, 1696 201 

phant, weeping Faith, caused mee, as I lay prostrate in the 
Dust on my Study-Floor, to conclude, that the Spirit of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, should yett fill mee wonderfully. 

This Day, an honest Man of Salem, gave mee a Visit, 
at the very Time, when the Lord was entertaining of mee, 
with some of my cheef Employments and Enjoyments in 
the Day. When I came out of my Study to him, hee odly 
gott mee into his Arms, and pray'd mee, to lett him serve 
mee; but hee fell a Discoursing, how prone wee all are to 
spiritual Pride, and what need wee all have to watch against 
it; and what poor, sorry, silly, earthen Vessels, the best of 
us are, after the best that God has done for us, or wee for 
him. Now hee not knowing in the least, how I had been 
engaged this Day, I could not but wonder at these Dis- 
courses, and ponder with myself, whether the Good Angels 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, might not have a particular 
Design in them. 

23 d. 5 m. Thursday. This Day, was a general Fast 
thro' the Province. 

A proper Exercise for such a Day, is for mee to think, 
what particular Points of Reformation are to bee now, in the 
Strength of Christ, resolved upon? 

I answer myself: Many. But especially these, 

1. Oh! when shall I rise earlier; that my Lord Jesus 
Christ may have more of my morning Hours! 

2. I must bee exacter, in my Hours for Family-Devo- 
tions, and add unto the Methods of Christianity in them. 

3. Something more of Care, must I take, to educate my 
little Daughter, for the Lord. 

4. I have not said enough tmto my Servants to bespeak 
Religion from them. 

5. The Children in our Congregation, are not sufficiently 
inspected, in the Times of our pubUc Exercises. 

6. I grow too slack, in pastoral Visits of my Neighbours. 

Lord, help mee ! 

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202 DIARY OF COTTON MATUER 



26 d. 5 m. Lord's Day. tO-This, Day, while I was at 
Prayer, before my Sermon, in a great Assembly of People, 
I received a strange Assurance; it was with a strong Hand 
of the Lord bore in upon mee, and I could not butt utter 
it, before the Congregation; that the Almighty Arm of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, was going to do a strange work in 
France, and bring such a wonderful Revolution upon that 
Kingdorae, that men would not beleeve it tho' it were declared 
unto them. 

30 d. s m. Understanding that many, especially of our 
young People gave themselves a Liberty, to do Things not 
of good Report, especially, in using the scandalous Games of 
Lottery. I sett myself, in the Lecture, to bear my Testi- 
mony, against their Miscarriages, with a Sermon, on Act. 
16. 2. One well-reported of. 

And about this Time, I published, my late sermon to 
the General Assembly, under the Title of, Things for a 
Distress'd People to think upon.' Moreover, hoping 
thereby to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, I aimexed an His- 
tory of the late Miracles wrought by His Almight>' Hand: 
as well as of the Deliverance lately granted unto the 
three Kingdomes, and all the English Dominions from the 
French Invasion.' 

Sd. 6 m. [August.] The Lord Jesus Christ enabled mee, 
to travel about thirteen miles, and preach the Lecture to a 
great Congregation at Redding, with more than ordinary 
Assistences (from Luc. 2. 10.), and return home in the 
Evening. So great a Restoration of Strength am I favoured 
withal! And shall I not love my Lord Jesus Christ, with 
all my Strength, and study to lay out my Strength for His 
Glory! 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, for Duncan Campbell, i6g6. 

* "2 d. 6 m.[A ugusl.] This Day James FawU, tendering a poenitent Confession 
of the Miscarriages for which the Censures of the Church had been upon him, was 
restored unto the Communion of the Church." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the 
Second Church, ii. Si-c p. 169 n, supra. 

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SEPTEMBER, 1696 203 

i2d.6m. $&• I kept this Day, as a private Fast, with 
some of my Neighbours, on the public Accoimts: (and I 
did something that way, the next week also:) but in the 
Prayers of this Day, my Assurance was wonderfully 
renewed, and expressed, of a marvellous Revolution hastning 
on the French Empire. 

Memorandum. About fifteen years ago, I bought a 
Spanish Indian, and bestowed him for a Servant, on my 
Father.! About three Years ago. Sir William Phips, our 
Govemour, bestowed a Spanish Indian for a Servant on 
myself. My Servant affecting the Sea, I permitted him, 
to go to Sea; and being an ingenuous Fellow, I gave him 
an Instrument for his Freedom, if hee serv'd mee till the 
End of the year 1697. Two years ago, the French took him, 
and I lost him. The Loss occasion'd mee to make a cheer- 
ful Resignation, imto the Will of God. But I was hereupon 
perswaded and often expressed my Perswasion, that my 
Servant would bee retum'd unto mee. In the Beginning 
of the year, an EngUsh Man of War, by taking the vessel, 
wherein my Servant was, retook him. Nevertheless, the 
Captain of the Man of War, being a Fellow, that had no 
Principles of Honour or Honesty in him, I could, by no 
means recover my servant out of his hands, who intended 
to make a perpetual Slave of him. So, I gave over my 
Endeavours to recover him; chiefly troubled for the Condi- 
tion of the poor Servant. But then, a strange Conjunction 
of Circumstances fell out, that the churlish Captain was 
compelled without any Consideration, but what I should 
please, to restore Him. And my Servant being so strangely 
returned, I sett myself to make him a Servant of the 
Lord. 

2d. 7 m. [September.] This Day, I sett apart for Prayer, 
with Fasting, in my Study. 

Among such Matters of Supplication, as I this Day pre- 

' See under June 19, 1681, p. 22, supra. 

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204 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

sented before the Lord, (such as I have heretofore address'd 
Heaven withal) one was, for the special Favours of the 
Lord Jesus Christ unto mee, with the Ministry of His 
good Angels, in a Journey to Salem, and Ipswich, which I 
have the next week before mee. 

6d. J m. Lords-Day. In the Forenoon, this Day, the 
Lord inclined mee, in our great Congregation, to putt into 
our public Prayers the particular Name, of an honest, and 
an aged Neighbour, like to perish in an horrible Captivity, 
without hope of Redemption; And in the Afternoon, that 
very Neighbour, was by a surprising Providence, brought 
home in safety to us; whereof much Notice was taken by 
the people of God in the Place. 

gd. J m. I spent good part of this Day, with other 
Ministers of the Town, in Prayer. And the Lord exceedingly 
irradiated my Soul, by His Good Spirit, especially when 
praying for that Spirit: and when saying, "Lord, wee know, 
wee that are Parents feel it so, that if one of our Children 
should come and say unto us, Father, there is one thing that 
would make us perfectly and forever Happy, and it is a thing 
that you can do for us, by speaking of one Word; wiU you please 
to do it? Wee could sooner dy, than deny that thing imto 
them. Now the Hearts of the kindest Fathers on Earth, 
are Stones, and Flints, in comparison of thy more fatherly 
Compassions. Wherefore wee now come, and say imto 
thee, Father, there is one Thing, thai would make us wonder- 
fully happy; one Word of thine can do this Thing for us; yea, 
and wee are sure, tis infinitely pleasing unto thee, that wee 
should ask for this Thing; Tis, that thou wouldst please to 
bestow thy Holy Spirit upon us!" 

II d. T m. A Great Storm seem'd breeding in the 
Weather; but being in Distress about my Journey, I wholly 
left it with my Lord Jesus Christ. So I undertook my 
Journey to Salem, and the storm strangely held off, till my 
Return, which was above a week after. 
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OCTOBER, 1696 205 

At Saletn,on the Lord's-Day (13 d. 7 nt.) I preached both 
parts of the Day, the Gospel to the Poor (on Math. 11. 5.), 
with great Assistences. On Tuesday [isth], I went as far 
as Ipswich, accompanyed with many Friends; and on 
Thursday, preached the Lecture there, (on Luc. i. 50.) 
with yett greater Assistences. On Friday [i8th], I returned 
unto Salem, and on Satureday, unto Boston. A Journey, 
full of Comfort, of Mercy, and of Service, and more than 
answering all my prayers concerning it. 

Li the Beginning of the following Week, I preached 
on Lord's-Day, on Tuesday [2 2d], on Wednesday, and on 
Thursday; and on the Thursday, I preached unto the Gen- 
eral Assembly of the Province, upon Rev. 2. 5. the Way to 
prevent the Removal of our Golden Candlesticks. In inter- 
weaving into my Discourse, the Condition of the Land, and 
especially of many particular Churches in the Land; and in 
testifying particularly unto the Purity of Churches, that wee 
profess, in opposition to the English W ill-worship ; and in 
petitioning for the Safety of the Colledge (whose Charter, the 
Representatives voted immediately after the Sermon, to 
restore) from whence all our Churches were to bee supplied; 
I enjoy'd the special Assistences of Heaven. 

2d. 8m. [October.] Friday. I sett apart this Day, for 
the Exercises of a secret Fast in my Study. Especially to 
obtain Mercy for this Land in its deplorable Circumstances, 
and a mighty Revolution upon the Kingdomes of Great 
Britain and upon the French Empire. As well as to obtain 
the special Assistences of Grace for the various Concerns 
of my Ministry; and the safety of my many particular 
Friends now going to sea, and my affayrs with them. 

i®-The Lord left mee not altogether without some 
Impressions upon my Mind, of my Acceptance with Him, 
and Hee did particularly renew my weeping Assurances and 
Evidences, that His Holy Spirit would yett more gloriously 
take possession of mee. 

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206 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Moreover, I find in myself, a strong Inclination to learn 
the Spanish Language, and in that Language transmitt 
Catechisms, and Confessions, and other vehicles of the 
Protestant-Religion, into the Spanish Indies. Who can 
tell whether the Time for our Lord's taking Possession of 
those Countreyes, even the seti Time for it, bee not come? 
This Matter I now solemnly pray'd over; beseeching the 
Lord, that Hee would accept of my Service in it; and I have, 
of late often done so! 

It may bee. I shall find, that this thing is of the 
Lord! 

10 d. 8 m. Altho' I did this Week, spend some Time, 
with certain Christians keeping a Day of Prayer for Cap- 
tives in the Hands of cruel Enemies, (and, I uttered a Par- 
ticular Faith, for a wonderful DeUverance of some Captives; 
which perhaps, might have some Answer, in the Newes that 
came the Day following, of several Persons, escaped out of 
the Hands of the Indians; tho' this must not bee all the 
Answer:) Nevertheless, I sett apart this Day, for the Exer- 
cises of a secret Fast in my study: and the occasions of my 
doing so, were the very same, upon which I was the last 
week, in this way before the Lord. Much Deadness was 
upon my sinful, slothful, woful Heart, in all the Exercises 
of the Day. 

«®"This Day, With Reflection, renewing and reviving, 
the Cares of my Mind about the Government of my Speech, 
I do here insert the following Rules, which I have hitherto in 
part observed, that I may observe them, yett more watch- 
fully and exactly, before the Lord; and I give up all my 
speaking Powers and organs unto the Holy Spirit of my 
Lord Jesus Christ, that being possessed by Him, I may be 
by Him assisted unto the Observation of the Rules, thus 
imposed. 

I. May I not affect Loquacitie, in my Discourses, but 
contrary thereunto, affect much Deliberation. The GravUie 

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OCTOBER, 1696 207 

and the Discretion, accompanying such a Caution, will bee 
of more Consequence to mee, in all Companies, than the 
Reputation of Wit which by a greater Volubility of Tongue, 
might easily bee acquired: And, in many words, there wants 
not sin. 

II. May I studiously decline to utter any thing, that 
I may foresee, will be useless, and much more, every Thing 
that may bee hurtful, and sinful, to bee uttered. It must 
bee my Ambition, every where to speak usefully, and only 
those things, that some one may bee the better or the wiser 
for. 

III. May I, with all the Contrivance imaginable, im- 
prove Opportunities, to say something or other, that may 
particularly sett off, some Glory of my Lord JESUS CHRIST. 
I wovdd every where contrive, if it bee possible to lett fall 
some Sentence or other, whereby some high Thoughts, of 
the Lord JESUS CHRIST, may bee produced in them that 
hear mee.' 

ij d. S m. Satureday. This Day I was again engaged, 
as I was this Day se'imight, in the Exercises of a secret 
Fast before the Lord. 

»©- And the Lord assured my weeping Faith, That being 
possessed by the Holy Spirit of my Lord Jesus Christ, I 
shall bee employ'd in great Service for Him, which is the 
one Thing, that I desire above every Thing else. 

«®" I have this Day also, wrestled with the Lord, until 
I have obtained it, that a mighty Convulsion shall bee 
given to the French Empire; and that England, Scotland, 
and Ireland, shall bee speedily Illuminated, with glorious 
Anticipations of the Kingdome of God. Moreover, a Revo- 
lution upon the Turkish Empire, which is now attempted 
by Troubles in Asia, I cryed unto the Lord for; that so wee 
may have another good Symptom of the Approach of the 

> On this day he went to Cambridge, and Sewall notes: "Mr. Cotton Mather 
took off Mr. Chauncy and Oakes's Epitaphs as I read them to him." Diary, 1. 435. 

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2o8 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Time, when the Kingdomes of this world shall become the 
Kingdomes of our Lord and of His Christ.^ 

Tis the Apprehension of mighty Changes at hand, that 
Causes mee to bee thus extraordinarily before the Lord. 
I would by extraordinary Devotions, prepare for those 
Changes and obtain from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Mercy 
of being eminently serviceable in them. 

30 d. &m. I sett apart this Day for the Duties of a 
secret Thanksgiving. 

I endeavoured this Day, to peruse the Records of Mer- 
cies, which I have made on former Dayes of Thanksgiving; 
and I studied in this, as well as in the other Exercises of 
the Day, to find in some contrary Suffrings of my Lord 
JESUS CHRIST, the Reason of all the Mercies and Com- 
forts wherewith I have been favoured. 

I also enumerated before the Lord, the Heads of His 
Mercies, to mee, as they are mentioned in my Book of, 
Winter-Meditations. 

After which, I did yett again, in another Action, recapit- 
ulate the special Mercies of the Lord JESUS CHRIST 
unto mee, in that Method, a Work, full of Mercies; an 
House full of Mercies; a Church, full of Mercies. 

Hereto I added, my Acknowledgments of the Mercies, 
which this Land, and the whole English Nation, have of late 
received from the Lord. 

And that my Heart might bee kept in Tune, I did all the 
Day long, multiply Hallelujahs unto my Lord Jesus Christ, 
with Ejaculations fetch'd out of numberless Occasions, in 
almost every Thing that I encountred withal. 

' Increase Mather drew conclusions from the Turks. "Your last, about the 
downfall of the Turks, and theyr hastening towards a period is great neues. The 
Lord perfect that great work. If he that was to last for a year, a month, a day and 
an hour [Rev. rx. 15] bee the Turkish Empire, which began in 1300, then he passes 
away about i6gi, and then woe to Babylon. And the ruine of the Turkes by 
intestine Jarrs is a paralcU to the Lord's dealings of old with such kind of Enemies 
to His people." Joshua Moodey to Samuel Nowell November 19, 1688. 4 C«/- 
lutions, vin, 371. 

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NOVEMBER, 1696 SOQ 

In the close of the Day, I gave Thanks to my Lord 
JESUS CHRIST, for spiritual and eternal Blessings; but 
in a special manner for His making use of mee to serve His 
Name; and I earnestly cryed unto Him, giving up myself 
to the possession of His Holy Spirit, that I may enjoy yett 
much more of this matchless Mercy. Herewithal, I gave 
Thanks to my Lord JESUS CHRIST, for the Ministry of 
His good Angels, which Hee had granted unto such a miser- 
able and contemptible Wretch as I am, and for the manifold 
Benefit, which I have received by their Ministry; And 
whereas I have, by His Gift My own Angel, I call'd 
upon that Angel (in imitation of the 103d Psalm) to 
join with mee, in glorifying of my Lord Jesus Christ 
exceedingly. 

In this Day, I sang many Hymns, in praise of my most 
precious Lord Jesus Christ. And, as an Expression of my 
Thankfulness unto Him, I sent a Token of several peeces 
of Eight, vmto a poor Man, a Preacher in my Neighbourhood, 
who, I hope, is a good Man, however hee bee not of my 
Perswasion, but a froward Anabaptist.^ 

I also sett myself, to consider, what services I might now 
further do, for my dear Lord JESUS CHRIST; and I re- 
solved upon several Services, the mention whereof, I shall 
make, if at all, not here, but as they come to bee performed. 

i^d. gm. [November.] Observing the Death of some 
young Men, in our Neighbourhood, by Sickness contracted 
in an unsuccessful Expedition lately attempted, I took 
occasion to preach vmto a very vast Assembly of young 
People, on Psal. 78. 63. The Fire consumed their young 
Men. And I sett before our young Folks, as lively as I 
could, the Judgments which had been upon their Genera- 
tion, and the Methods to escape those Judgments. 

' It is safe to assume that Mather uses this term in no special sense, but merely 
to designate one who believed on baptism otherwise than he did. The word is now 
almost wholly applied to the anabaptists of Germany and elsewhere at the period 
of the Reformation. 
I 14 

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2IO DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Lord! prosper this one Endeavour more.' 

About this Time, I took a Discourse which I had uttered 
at the Lecture of Boston, the last Spring; on Luk. 13. 35. 
Expressing the Use, that All should make of the terrible 
Disasters wherewith some are afliicted. Unto this I added 
a Collection of terrible and barbarous Things imdergone by 
some of our English Captives in the Hands of the Eastern 
Indians. And I annexed hereunto, a memorable Narrative 
of a good Woman, who relates in a very Instructive Manner, 
the Story of her own Captivity and Deliverance. I thought, 
that by exposing these things to the Public, I might very 
much promote the general Repentance, which ought to bee 
the Effect of the Divine Dispensations, hitherto not enough 
regarded by the Generality of our people; and therewithal 
give a Testimony to the Justice and Goodness of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. Yea, I could not easily contrive, a more sig- 
nificant Way, to pursue these Ends; not only, in respect of 
the Nature of the Book itself, which is historical as well as 
theological; but also, in respect of its coming into aU Comers 
of the Countrey, and being read with a greedy Attention; 
which, by an Advertisement"^ of it in the Almanack, was fur- 
ther accommodated. So, I published it, under the Title, 
of. Great Exemples or Judgment and jSIercy. 

28 d.gm. I sett apart this Day, for Prayer, with Fast- 
ing, in my Study: on such Accounts £is have caused mee 
formerly to bee thus engaged. » 

Nothing extraordinary occurred in the Actions of the Day. 

' isd.gm. [November.] This Day upon the Testimony of many Witnesses, 
Mr. William Coleman was convicted of Revelling and of Drunkenness, with a 
scandalous Company routed by the Watch and other Officers about the Middle of 
the Night, between the gth and the loth Instant. 

"The Revelling hec confessed; the Drunlcenness he denied. In the whole he 
showed such Insensibility (and the Church was also satisfied, that hec had of late 
in other Instances abandoned himself to a disorderly Life), that the Church now 
agreed for his being laid under the ("ensure of an Admonition; which was now 
accordingly dispensed unto him." CoUon Mather's MS. Records of the Second 
Church, H. 

' In Tulley, i6q7. 

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DECEMBER, 1696 211 

The General Court now sitting, a Committee of the 
Representatives apply'd themselves unto the Ministers in 
this Town, to furnish the General Court with some Thoughts, 
that might have some effectual Tendency towards the 
Reformation of the Land. The Ministers desired mee to 
draw up an Instrument (which I did,) wherein there was an 
impartial Recapitulation of the Sins, whereby the Divine 
Anger has been provoked against the Countrey; with a call 
to Hvmiihation for those Sins, and OTie Day particularly 
indicated for that purpose; whereto there was annexed, 
something both directing and exciting, all that have any 
power, whether civil or sacred, in their Hands, to use it, for 
the Reformation of a Land, now upon the Brink of Ruine. 

This Instrument, was read and pass'd in the House of 
Representatives; but, thro' some unhappy Influence, they 
added an Article unto it, which was not of my Composure; 
and that Article gave such Offence unto the Councellors, 
that the whole Instnmient there met with Opposition, and 
all come to Nothing.^ 

»®" Yett I was perswaded, that I should shortly have 
some singular Opportunity, to pubhsh the Articles of this 
Instrument, imto my Covmtrey, with some special Advan- 
tages.^ 

'"Dec'r 2. 1696. Now about Capt. Byfield brings in a long Bill from the 
deputys for a Fast and Reformation, written by Mr. Cotton Mather, to which a 
Streamer was added expressing that Partiality in Courts of Justice was obvious: 
with a vote on it that 500 should be printed, should be read; and sent up for Con- 
currence: 'twas deny'd; and our Bill for a Fast was sent down; Dept's deny'd that. 
Gov'r told them the way was unusual, they had taken, sending out a Committee, 
calling the Ministers, voting all, and never letting the Council know: that it per- 
tain'd prindpally to the Gov'r and Council to set forth such orders with a motion 
from them. A while after Capt. Byfield came in, and said 'twas no new thing, and 
they had taken no wrong step. Little was said to him. It seems this message is 
enter'd in their Booke. The Council were exceedingly grieved to be thus roughly 
treated." See Sewall, Diary, i. 439, 440, where the "streamer" and the accepted 
proclamation are printed. It was on the fast day thus appointed that Judge 
Sewall, who had sat in judicature in Salem, handed to Mr. Willard his famous 
"bill," of confession and contrition for his part in the witchcraft persecutions. 

'"About Dec'r 18, Mr. Mather, Allen, Willard, C. Mather give in a paper 

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212 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

20 d. 10 m. [December] Lords-Day. This Day, there being 
a violent Slor))i arisen/ I laid aside the Discourse, which 
1 had prepared for my Congregation and with plentiful 
Assistcnces from the Lord Jesus Christ. I discoursed on 
the Lord Jesus Christ as a Refuge fratn the Storms of the 
Wrath of God. (My Text was Isa. 25. 4.) 

Before the Sermon, as I was praying in the great Con- 
gregation, it was very strongly imprinted on my Mind, that 
I must pray for some of our sea-faring Friends, who might 
at this Instant, bee in Distress, upon our Coast. I did so 
with much Parlicidarilie and with a Particular Faith for 
mercy to bee \'ouchsafed unto some such distressed Xeigh- 
bours. 

Now, within a few Minutes, after the Prayer was ended 
the Congregation heard several great Guns fired, by a vessel 
in the Bay, wanting Help; and Heaven sent that Help imto 
the poor People aboard, that the vessel thro' extreme Dan- 
gers, gott safely in. 

26 d. 10 m. I sett apart this Day, for the Exercises of 
a secret Fast in my Study, on such occasions, as were 
offered, in my own exceeding Sinfulness, Unwatchfulness, 
and Unfruitfulness: and my want of Divine Assistence for 
the Discharge of my Ministry: and such likewise, as I saw, 
in the Condition of my Family, (my Consort not having 
many Weeks to go ere her Travel bee expected:) and in 
the Confusion, either distressing, or threatening of the Land, 
(especially the unsettlement of the CoUedge:) and in the 
State of the Church abroad. 

This Day, I was exceedingly refreshed, with Tidings 
arriving from Ent^land, concerning the Signs of a quick and 

aubsiribcil by them, shewing their dislike of our draught for the CoUedge Charter 
and desiring that their Names might not be entered therein. One chief reason was 
their appointing the Gov'r and Council for \isitor." Sewall, />iory, I. 441. This 
provision was in the act <if June 4, 1697, incorporating Harvard College, and led 
to its being disallowed by the Cniwn. /Vhi'/hic Laws, i. ago. 

' "A very great Snow is on the (ground," Sewall records under December 21. 
Diary, i. 442. 

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JANUARY, 1696-97 213 

a great Fall coming on the Turkish Empire; ' and concerning 
the Hopes of a speedy Peace with France,^ and the Restora- 
tion of the Protestants unto their ancient Liberties, in that 
Kingdome. 

On the Day following, I administred the Lord's Supper. 
But there being a mighty Snow upon the Ground, I diverted 
from the Subject, which I intended; and suddenly com- 
posed a Discourse, on, Psal. 68. 14. Shee was white as the 
Snow in Salmon. In the Close of this Discourse, urging 
upon my own particular Church, that wee would earnestly 
endeavour to become a Church, as white as the Snow, I lett 
fall these words; / do verily bclcnr, aiui I do lliis Day openly 
foretell; (lis with some Grief and pain of Soul, that I faretel 
it!) that there are Church-Members among us, whom the Lord 
Jesus Christ, will terribly give up, to such Blindness of Mind, 
and Hardness of Heart, that Ihcy will ere long bee brotcght 
forth; such horrible Scandals will they fall into, that they 
shall bee brought forth, as ripe for Church-Censures to bee 
dispensed unto them. 

Within a few Months, this was terribly accomplished, 
in several Instances.' 

2d. HOT. [Januory.] Saturcday. This Day I was again be- 
fore the Lord employ 'd in E.\ercises of a secret Fast, for such 
Reason as caused mee the last Week thus to wait upon Him. 

And very good was this Day unto mee. 

I had assured unto mee, the Pardon of all my Sins, 
thro' the Righteousness of my Lord Jesus Christ. 

4®" And, with a Flood of Tears, it was told mee, from 
the Lord, that His Holy Spirit, would mercifully and mar- 
vellously take a particular Possession of my speaking Organs, 
and Cause mee with a free, fitt, useful Speech, to glorify 
Him exceedingly. 

' See Sewall, Letter Book, i. 173. 

' News had come, by way of Rhode Island, that the King of France was dead 
or dying. 

• Written in the margin. 

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214 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

I petitioned for Assistence from Heaven, to all the Con- 
cerns of my Ministry. 

I had in my Prayers, particularly a strange Perswasion,' 
that I should ere long have a notable Accession, made unto 
the Treasures of my Library. I wonder what should bee 
the meaning of this. 

I cry'd. That my poor Countrey might not bee over- 
whelmed in Ruines; but, that if Ruines must come I 
may bee advised of them, and I and mine preserved from 
them. 

And I spread before the Lord, the Condition of His 
Churches abroad. I pray'd for the Reformation, to bee 
wonderfully revived, and advanced. Especially, in Great 
I Britain, and in France. And I pray'd, that the poor 
\ Vavdois may not bee ruin'd by the Peace now made between 
i France and Savoy. I pray'd likewise for further Mortifica- 
tions upon the Turkish Empire; wherein wee may see signs 
of the Kingdome of God approaching. 

I was also, afraid lest there were secret and horrid 
Sinners, in our church; and I cry'd imto the Lord, that none 
of their Sins (for all which I humbled myself) might bee 
laid imto my Charge, and give unto the A ngels of Death, an 
Advantage against mee, I pleaded, the great Sacrifice for the 
Congregation. 

14 d. II m. This Day, being a general FAST, through- 
out the province, the Lord mercifully carried mee thro' the 
Duties of it. 

And I am willing, in this place to insert, the Articles of 
Confession, which I then publickly insisted on. 

In a growing Apostasy from that religious Disposition, that 
signalized the first Planting of these Colonies, wee have sinned exceed- 
ingly. 

The Spirit of this World, hath brought an epidemical Death upon 
the Spirit, and Power of Godliness. 

' "Sec the 43cl year, o( these memoirs," is written in the margin. 

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JANUARY, 1696-97 215 

The glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, here enjoy'd with 
much Ple?Uy as well as Purity, hath not been thankfully &n<i fruitftdly 
entertained with such as have heard the joyful Sound. 

The Covenant of Grace hath been by Multitudes not submitted 
unto, and of them that have submitted unto it, Multitudes have not 
walked according to the sacred Obligations thereof. 

The unreasonable Vices of rash and vain Swearing, with hell- 
ish Cursing, in the Mouths of many, have rendred them guilty 
Sinners. 

A Flood of excessive Drinking, hath begun to drown very much 
of Christianity, yea, and of Civility itself, in many places. 

Some English, by selling of strong Drink unto the Indians, have 
not only prejudiced among them the Successes of the Word of Life, 
but also been the faulty and bloody Occasions of Death unto them. 

A Vanity of A p parr el, hath been affected by many persons, who 
have been so vain, as to glory in their Shame. 

Wicked Sorceries have been practised in the Land, and yett in the 
Troubles from the Divels, thereby brought in among us, those Errors, 
on both Hands, were committed, which wee have Cause to bewayl 
with much Abasement of Soul before the Lord. 

The Lord's-Day of sacred Rest, hath been disturbed with so many 
Profanations, that wee may not wonder if the Land see no Rest. 

The woful Decay of good Family- Discipline, hath opened the 
Flood-gates, for EvUs, innumerable, and almost irremediable. 

Magistrates, Ministers, and others that have served the Public, 
have been but great Sufferers by their Services, and mett with un- 
righteous Discouragements. 

Some that have belonged unto this Countrey, have perpetrated 
very detestable Pyracies, in other Parts of the World. 

Wee have in former Years, used unjustifiable Hardships, upon 
some that have conscientiously dissented from our Perswasions in 
Religion. 

With scandalous Contentions, and Animosities, wee have been 
inflamed one against another. 

The Sins of Uncleanness, in many and the grossest Instances have 
defiled the Land. 

The Joy of Harvest, hath been filled with Folly and Lewdness, and 
forgotten the glad Service of God, whom wee should have served in 
the Abundance of all things. 

Much Fraud hath been used in the Dealings of Many, and the 
Spirit of Oppression hath made a Cry. 

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2l6 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Falshood and Slander, hath been continually carrying of Darts 
thro' the Land. 

And the Succession and amazing Judgments of God upon us, for 
our thus trespassing have not reclamed us, but wee have gone on still 
in our Trespasses. 

I thought the Lord, in my public Prayer assured 
mee, that New England should not yett bee utterly given 
up unto Desolation, until more of the dear Servants 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, bee fetched away from the 
midst of us. 

i$d. II m. Being afflicted last Night, with discourag- 
[ ing Thoughts as if unavoidable Marks, of the Divine Dis- 
pleasure must overtake my Family, for my not appearing 
with Vigor enough to stop the proceedings of the Judges, 
when the Inextricable Storm from the Invisible World 
assaulted the Countrey, I did this morning, in prayer with 
my Family, putt my Family into the jNIerciful Hands of 
the Lord.i And, with Tears, I received fi®~ Assurance of the 
Lord, that jMarks of His Indignation should not follow my 
Family, but that having the Righteousness of the Lord 
Jesus Christ pleading for us, Goodness and Mercy should 
foUow us, and the signal Salvation of the Lord. 

2T,d. iim. I attempted, this Day, the Exercises of a 
secret FAST before the Lord. But so extremely cold was i 
the weather, that in a warm Room, on a great Fire, the 
Juices forced out at the End of short Billets of Wood, by 
the Heat of the Flame, on which they were laid, yett froze 
into Ice, at their coming out. This Extremity of the Cold 
caused mee to desist from the purpose, which I was upon; 
because I saw it impossible to scr\'e the Lord, without such 
Distraction, as was inconvenient.' 

2gd. II m. Spreading the Condition of my Family 

' Perhaps the public a\o\v.il of Sewall, as expressed in the "bill" he handed to 
Mr. Willard to be read in the church, may have quickened this course in Mather. 
See Sewall, Diary, i. 445. 

'See Hutchinson, History, 11. loi. 

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FEBRUARY, 1696-97 217 

before the Lord, Hee said unto my tearful Faith, and then 
with such a Faith I also said it, unto the Lord, that Hee 
will bless my Family; that my Consort shall have an easy, 
and an Happy Travail and the Circumstances of it, shall 
fall out seasonably, that our Servant under a painful Fever, 
which almost all the Spectators conclude beyond Hope of 
Recover^', shall yett have more Time granted unto her to 
serve the Lord. 

30 <f. II m. Satureday. The Angel of Death, stands with 
a drawn Sword over my sinful Family; my Consort is every 
Hour expecting her Travail, in Circumstances none of the 
safest; one of my Servants Ues dangerously, and they think, 
desperately ill, and miserably tormented with a rheumatic 
Feoer. 

To deprecate the Effects of the Divine Displeasure, I 
sett apart this Day, for the Exercises of a secret FAST 
before the Lord. I confessed and bewayled my manifold 
Sinfulness, and fled vmto the Righteousness of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, my Surety, for my Atonement. I spred the 
Case of my Family before the Lord; The Lord assured mee, 
of Salvations coming to my Family. 

Memorandum. This Day, my little Daughter Nibby, 
fell directly upon the Fire, and yett by a wonderful Provi- 
dence of Hea\en, was pull'd out without the least scorch 
upon Hands or Face, to damnify her. 

4 (Z. 12 m. [February.] This Day, was a Public Thanks- 
giving; and on this Day the Lord helped mee, with the 
rest of our Congregation, to make a liberal Contribution ' 
for the Propagation of the Gospel unto the dark Places in our 
Borders. In the year past, I have been employ'd many 
Wayes, for the Direction and Encouragement, of that work; 
(tho' I am far from being the Cheef in it!) and the Lord 
prospers it. 

And I now wrote, a circular Letter, unto the Ministers, 

' Sixty pounds say the Church Records. 

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2l8 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

in the Province, (which others also signed) for the further 
Prosecution of this matter. 

y d. 12 m. Lord' s-Day. Is not the Lord good unto the 
Soul that wails for Him. Oh I how great is the Goodness of 
God, unto those who putt their Trust in Him I 

This Morning, a little after one a clock, my Consort had 
an easy, and an happy. Travail, and all the Circumstances 
of it, fell out most seasonably. Shee was delivered, of a 
Daughter; a very hearty and comely Infant; which this 
Day also, my Father baptised. I gave her the Name of 
Hannah, with my Desires, that shee may bee a gracious 
Child, and imitate those of her Name, which are com- 
memorated in the Oracles of God. 

My sick Servant also did recover wonderfully. 

10 d. 12 m. The people of Charl[c\stovm, being about 
the Choice of a Minister, I earnestly advised 'em. That 
they would not affront the Lord Jesus Christ, by doing 
so important a Matter, without first making their solemn 
Addresses unto Him, for Direction. \\'herefore they sett 
apart this Day for those Addresses; and tho' I did not 
preach with them, as they desired mee, but I desired, and 
obtained, an elder and abler person to do it, yett I went 
over and pray'd with them; and enjoy'd the special Pres- 
ence of the Holy Spirit of Christ, with mee, in doing so. 

My Studies and Subjects, for my public Ministry, in the year 
past, have been some of them, already mentioned. The Rest were 
such as these. 

I had begun to handle, the Paragraphs of the Gospel preached 
by the Angels of Heaven, to the Shepherds of Bethlehem. This year 
found mee, at Luk. 2. 12. 

I went on, till I arrived at Ver. 20. on 17 d. 3 m. whereon I 
made a sacramental Discourse, as I had also done on 14. 15. 

I concluded my seventeen Sermons, on that portion of Scripture, 
with a Discourse, on the \'isit unto our Lord made by the Magicians, 
of Kedemah |K;ist], at the Invitation of the Glory, which they saw of 
the Angels thus appearing (as a star) over Bethlehem, on Math. 2. 12. 

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FEBRUARY, 1696-97 2I9 

And added another Sermon, on MatL 21. 19. about the Danger 
of Unfruitftdness under such a Gospel. (7 d. 4 w.) 

This Year also found mee preaching, on 2. Cor. 5. 14. the Love 
of Christ constraining: which I handled in three Sermons. 

I then considering it, as a Time wherein wee were brought into 
Depths of Iniquity and Calamity preached over the whole 130th 
Psalm. I began it, 28 d. 4 m. and finish't it, 18 d. 8 m. with nine 
Sermons, .\fterwards, I preached nine Sermons, on the Sum of 
the Gospel, in the three Last Verses, of the ^2d. Chapter of Isaiah, 
Begun Sd.gm. Finished -j d. 12 m. 

On sacramental Occasions, I preached, three Sermons on, Joh. 
14. 6. Christ, the Way, Truth, Life. 

And on i. Tim. 3. 16. The great Mystery, one sermon. Another 
on God Manifest in the Flesh. A Third on Justified in the Spirit. And 
on I. Pet. I. 3 [2]. The Sprinkling of Christ. 

On other Lord's-Dayes, these were the Subjects of my Sermons. 

Having on a public Fast, handled the Prayers, and Alms of 
Cornelius, I did on the Lord's-day following handle from Act. 11. 15. 
The Repentance which was the EfiFect of the Gospel preach'd unto him. 

(S d- 2 '»■) 

I preached on Psal. 37. 16. The Betterness of the little that a 

righteous man enjoyes. (In a Time of Scarcity, 3 rf. 3 m.) 

On Ezek. 7. 26. Mischief upon Mischief, (when many of our 

vessels, and Neighbours, one after another had miscarried at Sea. 

21 d. 4 m.) 

On Hos. 2. 8, 9. The Cause, why wee loose our temporal Blessings. 

(Up)on Losses multiplied. 26 d. 8 m.) 

On Prov. 18. 10. The strong Tower, (when the Town alarmed 

from the French, was fortifying 23 d. 6 m.) 

On Luk. 16. 2. The Account of Stewardship. {20 d. 7 m.) 

On Psal. 6. 9. The Nature, Meaning, and Signs, of a Particular 

Faith, in Prayer. (On the Occasion of meeting with many strange 

Instances of it. 3 «i. 8 m.) 

On Prov. 23. 26. Giving the Heart unto God. (25 d. 8 m.) 
On Psal. 78. 63. Young men consumed. (On a dreadful In- 
stance of the divine Judgment agt. the young people of N. E. 15 d. 

gm.y 

On Prov. 27. I. presuming on To Morrow. (When many sudden 

Deaths had lately happened. 6 d. 10 m.) 

' This paragraph was struck out. 

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2 20 DIARY OF COTTON UATHEE 

My monthly Lectures, besides those already mentioned, in the 
former pages, were 

On Joh. IS- 8. bearing much Fruit. (When there was an Auditory 
of Ministers, at the Commencement. 2 d. $ m.) 

On 2. Chron. 32. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, select Clauses, in each of those 
Verses. (When the Town was at Work upon their Fortifications. 
27 i. 6 m.) 

On Prov. 19. II. For the Cure of Anger. (Having had Advice 
of angry Disturbances, frequently happening, where there is more 
than ordinary reason to watch against rash AnKcr. 22 d. S m.) 

On Prov. 5. II. The Thoughts of Men, at the Last, (ig d. 9 m.) 

On Luc. 10. 42. The one Thing needful (17 d. 10 m.) 

When there was a public Fast, 23 d. 5 m., I preached on, Job. 42.2. 
Christ, able to do every Thing. And another, 14 rf. 11 w. I preach'd on 
Num. 14. 19. Pardon to bee desired for a perishing people. 

When there was a public Thanksgi\ing. One for DeUverance 
of the Nation from the late Plot, 18 d. 4 w. I preached on PsaL 
102. 16. The glorious Times at Hand. 

Another, ^d.i2m. for the Mercies of the year, on Lam. 3. 22. 
Mercies that wee are not consumed. 



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1697 

THE XXXVth year 

Terret me Tota Vita Mea; num apparet milii, aut pec- 
catum, aut tota sterilitas. Anselm. 

Tully, in his Second Book, De Natura Deorum, saies, 
Nemo Vir Magnus sine aliquo Afflatu Divino unquam fuit. 
[11. Ixvi.] 

THE XXXVth YEAR OF MY AGE 

12 d. 12 m. [February.] 1696-7. Friday. Being this Day 
thirty four Years old, I sett apart this Day, for a Thanks- 
giving, to bee offered unto God, in my Retirements; from a 
sense of the great Obligations unto Thankfulness which my 
Life, hath now, for thirty four Years together, been filled 
withal. 

In the former Part of the Day, tho' I mett with much 
Interruption, by Company that visited mee, I did several 
Things, to express my Praises xmto God in my Lord Jesus 
Christ. 

I paraphrased, improved and applied, the whole Hun- 
dred and Third Psabns, on my Knees before the Lord. 

I deliberately read over a Catalogue of the Divine Dis- 
pensations towards mee from the Begiiming; particularly 
Blessing of God, on each Article. 

I distinctly perused, what I have recorded, in the Year 
past; with grateful Reflections on each Paragraph. 

And I sang such Things as were suitable. 

In the latter Part of the Day I largely acknowledged 
unto the Lord, the more special Instances, wherein His 
Favours had been bestow'd upon mee. The Heads enu- 

[221] 
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222 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

merated in my Winter Meditations, were those, which I 
cheefly regarded in these Acknowledgments. 

But unto each of these Things, I annexed a threefold 
y\mplification. 

First, I confessed, that I had observed, many in the 
world, lesser Sinners than myself, labouring under the con- 
trary Miseries. 

Secondly, I ascribed still unto some such Sufferings of 
my Lord Jesus Christ, the Purchase of my Dehverance from 
Sufferings, in my several Enjoyments. 

Thirdly, I owned, from such Parallels, as the Scriptures 
of Truth afforded mee, the Agency of the good Angels, 
employ'd by the Lord of Heaven, to convey imto mee. the 
Enjoyments, wherein I am rejoicing. 

Then I sang suitable Things. 

But in the Evening, tho' I were so spent with the fore- 
going Exercises, that I thought I had not Strength to pro- 
ceed any further, I laid myself prostrate on my Study-floor 
before the Lord. 

And there did the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, after 
a wonderful Maimer, irradiate my mind, and quicken mee, 
and rejoice mee, with wondrous Assurances, that Hee 
would possess mee, and employ mee, and grant mee to 
glorify my Lord Jesus Christ exceedingly. Yea, the good 
Angels of that Holy Spirit, were so near unto mee, in my 
rapturous Praises of my Lord-Redeemer, that the Prae- 
libations of Heaven which I enjoy'd in this Matter, are not 
ftt here to bee uttered. 

But perceiving that it was now a Time with mee, wherein 
I might obtain, even what I would, of the Lord, I took this 
Time to cry unto Him, that the Spirit of Reformation, may 
mightily come down upon the Nations of Europe, and that a 
mighty Revolution, upon France, and upon Great Britain, par- 
ticularly, may accompany it. It will bee so! This poor Man 
cried, and the Lord heard his Cry, for this glorious Matter. 

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FEBRUARY, 1696-97 223 

iSd. 12 m. Considering, That the people of Connecticut 
Colony were the last year bless'd with a plentiful Harvest, 
while the Harvest so failed in several Parts of this Prov- 
ince, as to expose the Poor in some Towns to no small Diffi- 
culties; and understanding, that some of the good People 
in Connecticut, would liberally and bountifully express their 
Thankfulness to God, in Charity to our Poor, if they were 
call'd upon: I wrote as vigorous a Letter as I could, unto 
the Govemour there, for the procuring of this Matter; and 
the Ministers hereabouts, were so kind, as to sign the 
Letter.i 

I since vmderstand, that this Letter was read in all the 
Churches, of that Colony; who thereupon, made a very 
liberal Collection of many Hundreds of Bushels of com, for 
the Releef of the Poor, in the XortJiern Towns of this Prov- 
ince.' 

2od. 12 m. I sett apart this Day, for Prayer, with Fast- 
ing, in my Study. My Administration of the Eucliarist, on 
the Morrow, with a Sermon on, Christ seen of Angels, causes 
mee this Day, to bee at particular Pains that I may come to 
enjoy, first the Heart, and then the Tongue of Angels. 

The Concerns of my Ministry, and of my Family, I this 
Day, spread particularly before the Lord. But these were 
not all; for I sett myself, to wrestle with the Lord, pros- 
trate in the Dust before Him, on the behalf, of whole Nations. 
I cried importunately, unto the Lord, for the Refortnation, 
to bee revived, and perfected, not only in Great Britain, but 
in France also, with a mighty Revolution. The Angels of 
my Lord Jesus Christ, are going to do a strange Work, on 
the Nations of Europe! 

And, when I was thus prostrate in the Dust before the 
Lord, my Heart being poured out in Tears, received wonder- 
ful Assurances from Heaven, that the Spirit of my Lord 

• See Sewall, Letter Book, i. 183, 184. 

' Written in the margin against this paragraph. 

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2 24 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Jesus Christ, shall fill mee, and use mee to glorify Him; and 
that His Angels have wonderful Things to do for mee! 

21 d. 12 in. Lords-Day. At the Lord's Table, it was a 
Perswasion powerfully produced in my Mind, that I should 
ere long bee with the innumerable Company of Holy Angels, 
and that when they came to call for mee, I should go away, 
easily and joyfully, and that my Offspring which I leave in 
this evil World, shall bee the Servants of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, who will, as a most merciful Father, take such care 
of them that they shall want for no good Thing. 

(About this Time,) 

That I might render my pastoral Visits, the more sig- 
nificant, I published my Sermon, on Prov. 5. 11. which I 
entituled. The Thoughts of a Dying Man, wherein I do, 
with all possible Pungency and Fervency, sett before my 
Neighbours, the Advice of what they will think, and choose, 
At the Last, when they come to dy, and bespeak their 
Consent unto the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the 
Covenant of Grace.^ It was my Purpose, even,- Week, to 
leave this Book, in several visited Families, at my Neigh- 
bours. 

27 J. 12 m. Being under Apprehensions, that the Lord 
Jesus Christ, is going to do Great Things in the \\'orld, yea, 
that the Kingdome of God is at Hand, I think it necessary for 
mee, to imitate the Holy Daniel, in extraordinary Suppli- 
cations. 

Wherefore, I sett apart this Day, as I did this Day 
Se'nnight, for the Exercise of a secret Fast, before the Lord. 

In repairing to, and relying on, the Righteousness of my 
Lord Jesus Christ, for my Acceptance with God, His Holy 
Spirit raised mee, unto very evangelical Satisfactions. 

My Heart expanded, in a fcr\'cnt Importunity, for the 
cure of those Distempers in my Soul, Pride, Sloth, Envy, 
Selfishness, Sensuality, Earthly-mindedness, which rendred 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, for Joseph Wheeler. 

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FEBRUARY, 1696-97 225 

me unfit for the Kingdome of God, or for any eminent Ser- 
vice to that Kingdome. I pleaded, that nothing but the 
Ahnighty and infinite Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, could 
cure the Lusts, which disordered my Soul; nevertheless, the 
Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, hath purchased the Favours 
of His good Spirit for mee, whereon I now placed my 
Dependence, for the Communication thereof. 

The bereaved Condition of some Churches in this Wilder- 
ness, and the divided Condition of one, (that at Water toum^ 
I made a large Article of my Petitions. 

The whole State of the Land, in danger of a French 
Inversion the ensuing Summer, as well as of my own Church, 
which has been wounded by the Death of considerable Per- 
sons belonging thereunto, I particularly spread before the 
Lord. 

In the close of the Day, when I lay prostrate on my 
Floor, in the Dust, before the Lord, I obtained fresh and 
sweet Assurances from Him, that altho' I have been the 
most loathsome Creature in the world, yett His Holy 
Spirit, would with soveraign and glorious Grace, take Pos- 
session of mee; and accept mee, and employ mee, to glorify 
His Name, exceedingly. And I successfully renewed my 
Cries unto the Lord, that Hee would Visit France, and 
Great Britain, speedily, with a mighty Revolution. 

This Day I took up a Resolution, with the Help of 
Christ, that I would every Day spend some Time extraor- 
dinary, in Supplications, like those of Daniel, the Man of 
Desires, for the Captivity of the Church to bee hastned unto 
its Period. 

This Resolution, perhaps, I may speedily shape, into 
further Exactness of Contrivance. 

Considering that there is doubtless a great Revolution, 

and the great Reformation at hand, I judg'd it would bee a 

Thing, on many Accounts profitable, for mee, to single out 

a select Number of Christians, whose Appetites are strong to 

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226 DIAKY OF COTTON UATHES 

bee informed about the Characters and Approaches of the 
Kingdome of our Lord Jesus Christ, and entertain them at 
my Study, in fitt Seasons, with Discourses, and Researches, 
of those Matters, which the Holy Angels themselves desire 
to look into. After the other Passages, with which I may 
nourish them, and they may sharpen mee, in their Visits to 
mee, I may conclude still, with a Prayer, for the Hastening 
of the glorious Things that are spoken about the City of God. 

I began the year 97, with putting this Design in execu- 
tion; and I found in it an unspeakable Consolation.* 

20 d. 6 m. [August] Friday. This Day I sett apart, for 
the Exercises of a secret THANKSGIVING before the Lord. 

In the former Part of the Day, when I was on my Knees 
confessing the Glories of God, in my Lord JESUS CHRIST, 
after I had requested and obtained the Irradiations of His 
Holy Spirit for that Service, I received an Heart-melting 
Assurance from the Lord, that inasmuch as my Heart was 

' "April 8, 1697. Mr. Cotton Mather gives notice that the Lecture hereafter 
is to begin at Eleven of the Clock, an hour sooner than formerly. Reprov'd the 
Towns people that attended no better; fear'd twould be an omen of our not enjoy- 
ing the Lecture long, if did not amend." Sewall, Diary, i. 452. 

" 4d. 2 m. [April.] Abigail Day received the Censure of an Admonition, for 
I. Untruths uttered in her Speeches on many Occasions. 2. Expressions full of 
scandalous Discontent and Impatience under her Afflictions. 

"Expecially, saying of laudable Diet in the Alms-house, where she is lodged, 
that she would thank neither God nor Man for such Victuals. 

"3. Defaming the Man who keeps the Alms-house, as if hee had several 
Times made Attempts upon her Chastity. 

"Her Pcenitence for the two former Heads of Scandal appeared somewhat, 
but not enough. 

"Shee still insisted on the Truth of what shee hath said, in the third, though 
blaming her imprudent divulgation. 

"The Man asserts his Innoccncy, and shee has no proof to support her Charge 
of his Guilt. 

"This Day also our Church voted a Letter of Admonition to the Church of 
Charhlown, for betraying the Liberties of the Churches, in their late putting into 
the Hands of the whole Inhabitants, the Choice of a Minister. 

"isd.6m. [August.] This Day Afary Dutson, having been convicted of steal- 
ing in five or six horrid Instances, and of lying very many Times on the Occasion 
thereof, had the Sentence of Excommunication passed upon her." CoUon Mather's 
MS. Records of the Second Church, 11. See note to July i, 1705. 

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AUGUST, 1697 227 

become desirous to Praise Him, Hee would never send mee 
down to that miserable World, where they do not praise, but 
hate Him, and curse Him, and blaspheme Him forever: No, 
but Hee would grant mee a State of eternal Blessedness, 
wherein I shall carry on the blessed Work of praising Him, 
which I was now beginning to do. 

An Heavenly Disposition of Soul this Day came upon 
mee, in many Exercises of the Day. 

But the more special Matter of Thankfulness, for which 
I intended this Day, was the USE, which the infinite Grace 
of Heaven, has made of MEE, the most filthy Sinner out of 
HeU, to glorify my Lord JESUS CHRIST. 

In the Prosecution of Design, to glorify the soveraign 
Grace of God^ in this Matter, I first confessed and bewayled, 
my own horrible Sinfulness, by which I have deserved for- 
ever to bee rejected from the Service of the Lord. I then 
solemnly declared imto the Lord, that I made Choice of 
this, as my chief Happiness, to bee a Servant of my Lord 
JESUS CHRIST, and an Instrument of His Glory. There- 
with I magnified, the Favour of the Lord unto mee, in those 
Operations of His Holy Spirit upon mee, by which Hee has 
brought mee to such a Choice. 

Afterwards, I gave Thanks unto the Lord, for the Good 
which Hee gave mee to do, when I was but a Child and 
a Youth. 

For His giving mee this Grace, to preach the unsearchable 
Riches of Christ; and making mee a Preacher of the Gospel, 
when I was, of all Persons, not only the most unworthy, but 
also the most unlikely, to bee so improved. 

For His upholding mee, now seventeen Years together, 
in the Work of the Ministry, notwithstanding my many 
Difficulties, Temptations, and Weaknesses. 

For His employing mee, in so eminent a Place; the most 
considerable Town, in all New England; when I have been in 

myself one of the most inconsiderable Wretches in the Land. 

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228 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

For His granting mee continually to dispense His Truths, 
unto as great Avditories in my own Congregation, as one 
Man can well speak to; and calling mee to Dispensations 
ever now and then, upon the most solemn Occasions, that the 
Countrey could have afforded. 

For His making, both my publick and my private 
Endeavours, remarkably Profitable, unto the Souls of 
Multitudes. 

For His favouring mee, with the Liberty of the Press, 
and publishing more of my Composures than any Man's, 
that ever was in America, while I am yett a young Man: 
and making my Studies, to bee readd, and priz'd, and 
serviceable, not only all over these American Colonies, 
but in Europe also. 

For some Significancy which Hee has now given among 
His People, and the Eye, which His Churches have upon 
mee. The Comforts, and Supports, which I have enjoy'd, 
while the Lord hath been making Use of mee, I then 
thankfully acknowledged; and the Mercy of God, and the 
Purchase of Christ, from which I have had them. 

Especially, my Life, my Health; my Speech; my Library; 
my Dwelling-House; my Salary: And my Consort, with my 
Children; and my unblemished Reputation; and such Deliv- 
erances granted unto the Countrey, that my Opportunities 
to bee serviceable have not been overwhelmed, in the 
Ruines of it. 

In the Evening, I retired into our empty Church, and 

there, I essay 'd with greater Elevations of Soul, in this 

Retirement, for to give myself up unto the Spirit of my 

Lord Jesus Christ, that Hee may glorify Himself, in making 

yett a greater Use of mee than ever. 

f I cast myself prostrate on the Floor of my Pulpitt; and 

'.gave Thanks unto the Lord, for the Use which Hee had 

/ made of mee, in that very Pulpitt. 

And I offered up my Praises unto my Lord Jesus Christ, 
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AUGUST, 1697 229 

for His good Angels, and their Ministry; and for My Angel, 
and all the Love and Care, wherewith hee has treated mee : 
and I concluded, with a joyfid Assurance, that hee had 
yett more good Offices to do for mee, and that hee would 
gloriously join with mee, in my serving of our Glorious 
Lord JESUS CHRIST. 

But one special Article of my Thanksgivings, this Day 
was, the singular Favour of the Lord unto mee, in upholding, 
and assisting of mee, to finish my Chxirch-History. 

And now, because it will more particularly express the 
Favour of Heaven imto mee, in this Matter, 

I will in this Place, transcribe a few Lines, in my Litro- 
duction to that History. 

A Varietie of other Employments, hath kept mee, in continual 
Hurries, I had almost said, like those of the nititk Sphcere, for the few 
Months, in which this Work hath been Digesting. It was a Thing 
well-thought by the wise Designers of Chchey-CoMtdge, wherein able 
Historians were one sort of Persons to bee maintained; that the 
Romanists do in one Point comdemn the Protestants; for among the 
Romanists, they don't burden their Professors with any parochial 
Encumbrances; but among the Protestants, the very same individual 
Man, must preach, catechise, administer the Sacraments, visit the 
Afflicted, and manage all the parts of Church-Discipline; and if any 
Books, for the service of Religion, bee written, Persons thus extremely 
encumbred must bee the Writers. Now, of all the Churches under 
Heaven, there are none that expect so much Varietie of Service from 
their Pastors, as those of New England; and of all the Churches in 
New England, there are none that require more, than those in Boston, 
the Metropolis of the English America; whereof one is, by the Lord 
Jesus Christ, committed unto the Care of the unworthy Hand, by 
which this History is compiled. Constant Sermons, usually more than 
once, and perhaps three or four Times in a Week, and all the other 
Duties of a pastoral Watchfulness, a very large Flock hath all this 
while demanded of mee; nor hath my Station left mee free from 
Obligations to spend very much Time, in the evangelical Service of 
others also. It would have been a great Sin in mee, to have omitted 
or abated my just Cares, to fulfill my Ministry in these Things, and in 
a Manner give myself wholly to them. All the Time, I have had for 
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230 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

my Churchrhistory, hath been perhaps only or chiefly thai, which I 
might have taken else, for less profitable Recreations; and it hath 
all been done by Snatches. Nor have I spent Ikirty Years in shaping 
this my History, as Diodorus Siculus did for his, (and yett, both 
Bodinus and Sigonius Complain of the 2<^aX^To attending it!) but 
I wish I could have enjoyed entirely for this Work, one Quarter of the 
little more than two Years, which have rolled away, since I began it; 
whereas I have been forced sometimes wholly to throw by the Work, 
whole Months together, and then resume it, but by a stolen Hour or 
two in a Day, not without some hazard of incurring the Title, which 
Coryat putt upon his History of his Travels, Crudities hastily gobled 
up in five Months. Our English Martyrologer, cotmted it a suflBdent 
Apology, for what Meannesses might bee found in the first Edition 
oi bis Acts and Monuments, that it was hastily rasked up in about four- 
teen Months: and I may Apologize for this Collection of our Acts and 
Monuments, that I should have been glad if in the little more than 
two Years, which have ran out, since I entred upon it, I could have 
had one half of about fourteen Months, to have entirely devoted there- 
unto. But, besides the Time, which the daily Services, of my own 
first, and then of many other Churches, have necessarily called for, 
I have lost abundance of precious Time, thro' the feeble and broken 
State of my Health, which hath unfitted mee for hard Study: I can 
do nothing to Purpose at Lucubrations. And yett, in this Time also, 
of the two or three Years last past, I have not been excused from the 
further Diversion of Publishing (tho' not so many as they say Mer- 
curius Trismegistu-s did, yett) more than a Score of other Books, xipon 
a copious Varietie of other Subjects, besides the composing of several 
more, that are not yett published. Nor is this neither, all the Task, 
that I have in this while had lying upon mee ; for, when I applied my 
Mind, unto this way of serving the Lord JESUS CHRIST, in my 
Generation, I sett upon another, and a greater, which hath had, I sup- 
pose, more of my Thought and Hope than this, and wherein there hath 
passed mee, Nulla dies sine Linea. I considered, that all sort of 
Learning, might bee made gloriously subservient unto the lUustrO' 
tion of the Sacred Scripture, and that no professed Commentaries had 
hitherto given a thousandth Part of so much Illustration unto it, as 
might bee given. I considered, that Multitudes of particular Texts, 
had, especially of later Years, been more notably illitstraled, in the 
scattered Books of learned Men, than in any of the ordinary Com- 
mentators. And, I considered, that the Treasures of Illustration for the 
Bible, dispersed in many hundred Volumes, might bee fetched all 

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AUGUST, 1697J 231 

together, by a Labour, that would resolve to conquer all Things; and 
that all the Improvements, which the later Ages have made in the 
Sciences, might bee also, with an inexpressible Pleasure, call'd in, 
to assist the Illustration of the Holy Oracles, at a Rate that hath not 
been attempted in the vulgar Annotations; and that a conmion Degree 
of Sense, would help a Person, who should converse much with these 
Things, to attempt sometimes also an Illustration of his own, which 
might expect some Attention. Certainly, it will not bee ungrateful 
unto good Men, to have innumerable Antiquities, Jewish, Chaldee, 
Graecian, and Roman, brought home unto us, with a sweet Light re- 
flected from them, on the Word, which is our Light: or, to have all the 
typical Men and Things, in our Book of Mysteries, acconmiodated with 
their Antitypes; or. To have the Histories of all Ages, coming in with 
punctual and surprising Fulfilments, of the Divine Prophecies, as far 
as they have been hitherto fulfilled; and not meer Conjectures, but 
even mathematical and incontestable Demonstrations given of Exposi- 
tions, upon the Prophecies that yett remain to bee accomplished; or, 
to have in one Heap, Thousands of those remarkable Discoveries of the 
deep Thing of the Spirit of God, whereof one, or two, or a few some- 
times, have been, with good Success, accoimted Materials enough to 
advance one into Authorism; or, to have the delicious Curiosities 
of Grotius, and Bochart, and Mede, and Lightfoot, and Selden, and 
Spencer, and many more Giants in Knowledge, all sett upon one Table. 
At more than all this, our Essay is levelled; if it bee not anticipated 
with that Epitaph, Magnis tamen excidit ausis. Designing accord- 
ingly, to give the Church of God, such Displayes of His blessed Word, 
as may bee more entertaining for the Rarilie and Noveltie of them, 
than any that have hitherto been seen together in any Exposition; 
and yett such as may bee acceptable unto the most judicious for the 
demonstrative Truth of them, and unto the most orthodox, for the 
Regard had unto the Analogy of Faith in all, I have now, in a few 
, Months, gott ready an huge Number of golden Keyes, to open the 
Pandects of Heaven, and some Thousands of charming and singular 
, Notes, by the new Help whereof, the Word of CHRIST may run and 
I bee glorified. If the God of my Life, will please to spare my Life, (my 
yett sinful, and slothful, and thereby forfeited Life!) as many years 
longer, as the barren Fig-tree had in the Parable, I may make unto the 
Church of God, an humble Tender of our BIBLIA AMERICANA, 
a Volumn enriched with better Things, than all the Plate of the Indies; 
yett not I, but the Grace of Christ with mee. 

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232 DIARY OF COTTON MATHEE 

I allotted, Friday, 2y d. 6 m. for a Journey first unto 
Salem, and then unto Ipswich. All the former Part of the 
Week, I was under sickly Disorders; yett I preached, on 
Wednesday, and on Thursday, as well as on the Lord's-Day. 
The Afternoon before my Journey, there was a violent 
Storm, that threatened a Disappointment of my Designs; 
but I resigned all unto the Lord; concluding, that since I 
was going abroad into the Countrey, to preach the Glories 
of my Lord JESUS CHRIST, I would ascribe imto EUm, 
the particular Glory of the good Weather, if I might enjoy 
such a Favour. The Weather cleared up immediately; 
my lost Health and Strength returned; I had a most com- 
fortable Journey, and it was made the more comfortable, 
by the Company of some young Gentlemen, who by duti- 
fully waiting on mee, gave mee an Opportunitie to study 
how I might effectually recommend the Service of Christ 
unto them. Wherever I came, I was received with much 
undeserved Respect and Honour; and besides my private 
Opportunities to entertain and edify my Friends, I had pub- 
lic Opportunities to preach imto vast Assemblies, at Salem, 
twice the Lord's-Day on CHRIST, seen by Angels, and, 
preached unto the Gentiles; and at Ipswich once, the (Thurs- 
day) on glorifying of God, by bringing forth much Fruit. At 
last, I began to feel myself coming under the Calamity, of, 
Loss of Time. I therefore on the ensuing Friday, made my 
Journey home. Storms were gathering and expected, two 
Dayes, before I gott home; I submitted unto the Lord 
cheerfully under this Inconvenience; but the Lord unto my 
Surprise, kept off the Rain, unto the End of my comfort- 
able Journey. 

Weary with my Journey, I thought myself excused from 
the Severities of a secret Fast, on the Day ensuing, when yett 
I did spend no small part of the Day, in Praeparations, for 
the Eucharist; which on the Morrow, I was to administer. And 
in the Administration of it, when the Time arrived, I enjoy'd 

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SEPTEMBER, 1697 233 

rapturous Communications from Heaven; tis my great un- 
happiness, that I have Time to write no more of these things. 

i2d. T m. [September] Lords-Day. This Day, at Noon, 
in my Study, pouring out my Prayers, that my Lord Jesus 
Christ, may shortly bee more known and served than ever, 
throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland; and that the 
Angels of the Lord Jesus Christ, may bring a wondrous 
Convulsion on the French Empire; I received a wonderful 
Assiirance from the Lord, that it shall bee so. 

18 d. 7 m. Saturday. I did this Day, in the Exercises of 
a Secret Fast, exceedingly abhor, and abase, myself before 
the Lord, for the incredible Vilenesses of my Life, and 
admire ffis Grace, in that Hee had not utterly rejected 
mee from serving Him, and permitted Satan to praecipitate 
mee, into scandalous Miscarriages, that should render mee 
the Astonishment of all His Churches. 

I likewise cried unto the Lord, for His Mercies, to my 
Family, my Flock, the Countrey, the Colledge, and several 
miserably disordered Churches among us. 

One special Design of my Hvmiiliations this Day, was, to 
praepare mee for good Advice, in the Fleet hourly expected 
from England; even the Advice, that the Lord has there 
accepted and employed more of my poor Composures, to 
glorify my Lord Jesus Christ. Such, and comfortable 
Advice, I shall receive! 

In the Close of the Day, as I lay prostrate on my Study- 
floor, exceedingly judging myself, as the most lothsome 
Wretch in the world, I received from Heaven, in a Manner, 
which I may not utter, a wonderful Assurance, that my Sins 
are all pardoned, by the infinite Grace of God imputing to 
mee the Righteousness of my Lord Jesus Clirist; and, that 
I shall bee employed in great Services, by which my Lord 
Jesus Christ shall bee glorified; and, that the Angel of my 
Lord Jesus Christ, shall bee inexpressibly helpful to mee, 

in the Work of the Lord. 

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234 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

igd. 7 wt. Lord'S'Day. On this Lord's-day, at Noon, in 
my Study, / was in the Spirit. I cast myself prostrate in 
the Dust, on my Study-floor, to lift up a Cry from thence, 
for Zion in the Dust. The Spirit of the Lord came near unto 
mee; doubtless, the Angel of the Lord made mee sensible of 
his Approaches. I was wondrously Irradiated. My Lord 
Jesus Christ, shall yett bee more known, in the vast Regions 
of America; and by the means of poor, vile sinful mee, Hee 
shall bee so. Great Britain shall undergo a strange Revo- 
lution and Reformation; and sinful / shall bee concerned in 
it. France will quickly feel mighty Lnpressions from the 
Almighty Hand of my Lord Jesus Christ: and I shall on 
that Occasion sing His glorious Praises. Nor was this all, 
that was then told mee from Heaven: but I forbear the rest. 

24 d. 7 m. This Day, discoursing with a worthy Minis- 
ter, who lay dangerously sick, I said unto him, "To praise 
Christ, in the midst of Myriads of Angels in Heaven, may in 
some Respects bee as good as to preach Christ, in the midst 
of Hundreds of Mortals on Earth. Hee replied; Its true. 
I added, (for our Discourse was managed with a certain 
serious and sacred EUaritie') But, Syr, have you prepared 
a Song? Have you thought, what to say, when you arrive 
among the blessed Angels? Hee rephed: Why, pray, what 
do you intend to say? I answer'd; I'l say, Belwld, yee 
Holy Spirits, the most wretched and lothesome Sinner, that 
ever arrived among you: but it is our Glorious Christ, that 
hath brought mee hither. I'l say, Syrs, here is one come among 
yot{, that was the most abominable Sinner thai ever was in the 
World, and yett I have as good a Righteousness as any of you. 
I'l say, Oh I yee Illustrious Angels, if you don't wonderftdly 
glorifie the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, in fetching so vile 
a Sinner into these Mansions, you'l never do it I" 

I mention this Passage, for some Reasons, that I need 
not mention.' 

' 36 d. 7 m. [Sfptember.] Baptised Vines Elicut, a Youth about i] Years ol 

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OCTOBER, 1697 23 s 

2d. 8m. [October.] Saturday. I spent this Day in the 
Exercises of a secret Fast, hungring and thirsting for Rigkt- 
eottsness. 

God gave mee some comfortable Tokens of His Presence 
with mee, this Day. 

Especially, in the Close of the Day; when, from the 
Dust, where I lay prostrate, I cried vmto the Lord, that Hee 
would accept mee, and employ mee, in eminent Services 
for my Lord Jesus Christ; and grant mee a special Assist- 
ence from His Good Angel in my Services. With Tears, I 
received Assurance of my being heard in these Petitions! 

One singular Errand, upon which I went unto Heaven, 
this Day, was, to bee informed, whether I should glorify my 
Lord Jesus Christ, by writing a Treatise, on, The Great 
Mystery of Godliness, in the several Articles of it; (i. Tim. 
3. 16.) and bearing a Testimony to the great Points of the 
Christian Religion. 

I must attempt it, and the Lord, and His good Angel, 
will bee with mee, in my Attempt. 

gd.Sm. Much of my Time, has been spent abroad, 
this Week, out of Town; where, tho' I did endeavour to do 
service, (especially, at miserable Watertown, bringing the 
People in the east part of that poor Town, to sign an Instru- 
ment, wherein they confessed the Errors of their late Actions, 
and promised, by the Help of Christ, a regular Behaviour; 
and otherwise helping the Council that mett there;) yett 
I am very imeasy at my spending my Time, thus imcom- 
fortably, and (in Comparison of what might have been) 
improfitably. 

Moreover, the Afternoon of yesterday I was with the 
Ministers of the Town, praying for one of our Number, who 
continues ill. 

Age, presented by a Woman of the Old Church (one Cable), who had brought him 
up in the Knowledge and for the Service of Christ, and promised still to do so." 
Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the Second Church, n. 

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236 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

This was one Occasion, why I could not so well sett 
apart, this present Saturday, for a secret Fast, in my study; 
as I would have done. 

But, yett, in the Evening of this Day, being under 
extreme Anguish of mind, from the terrible and amazing 
Circumstances, of my poor Uncle at Plymouth, (condenmed 
the last Week, to Silence, by the just Sentence of a Council,)' 
I was afraid, lest the Lord shoidd bring His dreadful Judg- 
ments upon mee also, for my sins against Him, and leave 
mee to things that might horribly wound His Name and 
Work in mine, and bee the horrible Astonishment of all 
His Churches. Under this melancholy Fear, I cast myself 
prostrate on my Study-Floor before the Lord; and as I was 
there confessing my Sins, and accepting the Sacrifice and 
Righteousness of my Lord Jesus Christ, God from Heaven, 
wonderfully touched my Soul, and melting mee into Tears, 
Hee assured mee, that Hee had pardoned my Sins, and that 
Hee would glorify His infinite and soveraign Grace, in employ- 
ing mee to serve my Lord Jesus Christ exceedingly. 

13 d. 8 m. This Day, I rode unto Dedham, not without a 
sensible Protection, from the good Angels upon mee, once 
when my headstrong Horse broke the Chap of his Bridle, 
and another Time, when my Horse fell do^vn with mee, so 
as to lame himself, and not hurt mee at all, and a third 
Time, when I, with the Gentleman that bore mee Company, 
were just mistaking our way, and a Friend unknown to us, 
just then in sight of us, informed us of our Mistake. My 
Errand was, To preach the unsearcliable Riches of Christ; 
a Subject whereof the Angels are the glad Students, and 
would bee glad to bee the Preachers. As I was beginning 
my Sermon, an inexpressible Satisfaction filled my Soul, 

' Rev. John Cotton, whom the church w.is advised to dismiss with as much 
charity as the rule would admit. "This was for his Notorious Breaches of the 
Seventh Commandment, and undue Carriage in chusing Elders. Thus Christs 
words are fulfilled, Unsavoury Salt is cast to the Dunghill. A most awfull 
Instance." Sewall, Diary, i. 460, 472. 

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OCTOBER, 1697 237 

in Thoughts, of the Divine Favour, which accepted mee in 
the Holy Service of glorifying my Lord Jesus Christ. I was 
therewithal assured, That the Spirit and the Angel of my 
Lord Jesus Christ, would assist mee wonderfully: And it 
was with mee, even beyond my Assurance. 

16 d. 8 w. Saturday. This Day, I sett apart, for the 
Duties of a secret FAST. Inexpressible Self -Abhorrence, 
for my abominable Sinfulness before the Holy Lord, was 
the Design, and the very Spirit of my Devotions this Day. 
The deplorable Condition of my fallen Uncle, was that which 
God sanctified for my Awakening unto such a Strain in my 
Devotions. 

And yett, in the Close of the Day, when I was prostrate 
in the Dust, on my Study-floor before the Lord, I received 
a new, a strong, a wonderful Assurance from Heaven (melt- 
ing mee into Tears of Joy!) that my Sins are all pardoned 
thro' the Blood of Christ, and that notwithstanding all my 
horrid Sinfulness, I shall bee employ'd in great Services 
for His Name. Whereupon, I resolved, that inasmuch as 
the Grace of Heaven was never more magnified, than in 
pardoning and employing so vile a Wretch as I am, I would 
sett myself to glorify Free-Grace, by preaching and writing 
the Doctrines, the Riches, and the Glories of it, with all 
possible Application. 

21 d.%m. Thursday. The General Assembly was now 
sitting, and I had this Day an Opportunity to address my 
whole Countrey in one Assembly I considered, that my Lord 
JESUS CHRIST, as the great Sacrifice for the Congregation, 
had never been enough preach'd and pris'd, and us'd in this 
Land. Wee urged Reformation, without beginning at those 
Exercises of our Faith, which are to rely upon that great 
Sacrifice, for Grace to reform what is amiss, and so for Help 
in and from all of our Distresses. Wherefore this Day, I 
did, in my Lecture, to a vast Assembly, preach on Lev. 4. 21. 
A Sin-Ofering for the Congregation; and show my People, 
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238 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

how to glorify my Lord JESUS CHRIST, by acting Faith 
on Him, as a Sin-Ojjering, for our Public Atonement and 
Salvation. I concluded my Sermon, with telling, the 
Elders of the Land, that they should not stirr out of place, 
till the Exhortation was putt in Execution. I call'd upon 
them, to stand up, and join with mee, in the Cries, that wee 
would proceed then to lift up unto the Lord.* So, I made a 
Prayer, wherein (the General-Assembly standing up to say. 
Amen, imto it,) I spread before God, the great Sacrifice of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, for our Deliverances. 

After this, I thought, that wee should ere long under- 
stand of great Salvations this year vouchsafed imto this 
Land, notwithstanding our great Unworthiness and Unf ruit- 
fulness. And I was therefore exceedingly desirous, to lay 
before the People of this Land, my Advice of that great 
Sacrifice, to whom all the Glory of our great Salvation will 
bee due; and bespeak for my Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory 
of it all. I ask'd of the Lord, that Hee would allow, and 
assist mee, to publish unto my People, my late Meditations 
of the great Sacrifice: And immediately, it came into my 
mind, that I had in my Hand, an excellent Letter, full of 
divine Rarities, lately written from a Prison in France, by 
a pious Confessor of the reformed Religion, once dwelling 
in my Neighbourhood.* The Translating and Publishing 
of this Letter, I saw, would bee a very charming way to 
do good, throughout all this Countrey, and to diffuse the 
Spirit of Christianitie wonderfully. Accordingl)', I agreeably 
joined this Letter, unto my Sermon, to render it the more 
taking, and gave it the Title of, A Present from a far 
CoxjNTREY TO THE PEOPLE OF New ENGLAND. The Book- 
seller gladly accepted it, and published it; But herewithal, 
that I might watchfully lay hold on all Opportunities to bee 

' "Satterday, Oct'r 30, 1697. Several Acts arc published; particularly that 
against Athcismc and Blasphcmie." Scwall, Diary, t. 463. 

' "One Eliai Nean" written in the margin. .S«e under May 2, 1699, infra. 

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NOVEMBEK, 1697 239 

serviceable, I composed and inserted a Discourse in the 
French Tongue, addressed unto the French Church in this 
Town, advising them as prudently as I was able, to reform 
Things, that are amiss among them. 

I®- I do in this Place also record it, that tho' there bee 
no Humane Probability, or Possibility, of DeUverance for 
that blessed Confessor Nean, now perishing in the French 
Dungeons, yett I cannot forbear crying to God for his 
Deliverance, and carrying his Condition before the Lord. 
These Prayers will not bee lost! 

30 d. 8 m. Saturday. This Day I spent in the Exercises 
of a secret FAST, for the same Reasons, and with the same 
Requests that have occasioned my being several Times thus 
of late before the Lord. 

Nothing remarkable occurr'd in the Day. 

But in the Close of the Day, the Lord marvellously 
renewed my Assurances, that Hee will Accept mee, and 
employ mee, to glorify my Lord JESUS CHRIST exceed- 
ingly. 

But then this Thought, was with inexpressible Joy sett 
home upon my mind, that since my Heart was exceedingly 
sett upon promoting and advancing the Glory of the Lord 
Jesus Christ in this World, God will certainly grant mee the 
Sight of that Glory in another, and a better World; I shall 
certainly bee with Him, where Hee is, to behold His Glory: 
and therefore I shall bee happy throughout eternal Ages. 

This Consolation was renew'd unto mee, the Day follow- 
ing, in Administring the Supper of the Lord. 

y d. g m. [November.] Lords-Day. I took my little 
Daughter, Katy, into my Study; and there I told my 
Child, that I am to dy shortly, and shee must, when I 
am Dead, Remember every Thing, that I said unto her, 

I sett before her, the sinful and woful Condition of her 
Nature, and I charg'd her, to pray in secret Places, every 

Day, without ceasing, that God for the Sake of Jesus Christ 

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240 DIAEY OF COTTON MATHER 

would give her a New Heart, and pardon Her Sins, and make 
her a Servant of His. 

I gave her to understand, that when I am taken from 
her, shee must look to meet with more humbling Afflictions 
than shee does, now shee has a careful and a tender Father 
to provide for her; but, if shee would pray constantly, God 
in the Lord Jesus Christ, would bee a Father to her, and make 
all Afflictions work together for her Good. 

I signified unto her. That the People of God, would 
much observe how shee carried herself, and that I had 
written a Book, about. Ungodly Children, in the Conclusion 
whereof I say, that this Book will bee a terrible Witness 
against my own Children, if any of them should not bee 
Godly. 

At length, with many Tears, both on my Part, and hers, 
I told my Child, that God had from Heaven assured mee, 
and the good Angels of God had satisfied mee, that shee shall 
bee brought Home unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and bee one of 
His forever. I bid her use this, as an Encouragement imto 
her SuppUcations imto the Lord, for His Grace. But I 
therewithal told her, that if shee did not now, in her Child- 
hood seek the Lord, and give herself up imto Him, some 
dreadful Afflictions must befal her, that so her Father's 
Faith, may come at its Accomplishments. 

I thereupon made the Child kneel down by mee; and I 
poured out my Cries unto the Lord, that Hee would lay 
His Hands upon her, and bless her and save her, and make 
her a Temple of His Glory. It will bee so; It will be so! 

I write this, the more particularly, that the Child may 
hereafter have the Benefit of reading it.' 

Memorandum. 
This Week, I understand, that my poor Servant is 
happily and gloriously delivered, from the deplorable Cir- 

'Shc was born September i, 1689, and was, tliercforc, in her ninth year at 
this time. 

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NOVEMBER, 1697 24I 

cmnstances which occasion'd my beseeching the Lord Thrice, 
for her DeUverance. 

Moreover, tis as I said, a great Salvation has this Year 
been granted unto this Land. Wee have with a plentiful 
Harvest, been saved from the terrible Famine, when a few 
Dayes of Drought more, would have rendred it irresistible.' 
A great Body of Indians, with French, were on their way, to 
make a Descent on our Frontiers; but our Army happily 
must meet 'em, and beat 'em, and save the Lives of Hun- 
dreds. A formidable Squadron of about fifteen French 
Men of War, were coming to this Town, and would, no 
doubt, have laid it very desolate: but when they were a 
Uttle Way off, the Angel of the Lord went forth, and smote 
'em with such a wasting Sickness, that the Loss of their 
Men by it, enfeebled 'em, so as to make 'em desert the 
Enterprise. 

IX d.gm. This Day, was a Day of pubUc Thanksgiving 
throughout the Province for our DeUverance, from the 
Calamities, which in the Summer past, sorely threatned 
our Desolation. I remembred my Purposes; and glorified 
my Lord Jesus Christ, as the Author of our DeUverance. 

The whole Day, I fiUed with the Hallelujahs of occasional 
Ejaculations, besides the more solemn Exercises of the Day. 

And having my Spirit, by means hereof raised up into 
Heaven, I received a Perswasion from thence, that there 
wUl immediately bee a great Revolution upon England, in 
favour of the Reformation, and the Church and cause of 
my Lord Jesus Christ.' 

27 d.gm. Having sett apart this Day, for the Exer- 
cises of a secret FAST, in my Study, I did, at the Close of 
the Day, prostrate on my Study-floor, joyfully receive these 
Assurances from Heaven. 

• Sewall mentions a drought which much afflicted them, but towns not far 
distant had a sufficiency of rain. Letter Book, l. 187. 
' A paragraph foUows which has been struck out. 

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242 DIARY or COTTON MATHEK 

That notwithstanding my horrible Sinfuhiess and Filthi- 
ness, there will bee a Triumph of the Divine Grace, in em- 
ploying mee to do special Services for the Name of my Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

That the Spirit of my Lord Jesus Christ, will bee 
mightily present with mee, in my writing a Book which I 
have now begun, for the Illustration, and the Demonstra- 
tion of the Christian Religion. 

That there are good Newes coming to mee from England; 
and such particularly, as will give mee Encouragement, 
about the future Pubhcation of my Church-History. 

That France, is quickly to undergo a mighty Revo- 
lution. 

28 d. 9 m. Lord's-Day. At Noon, in my Study, crying 
to Heaven, that I might bee employ'd in glorifying my Lord 
Jesus Christ, I had my Heart strangely carried into a Par- 
ticular Faith, that I have yett some special and Notable 
Thing to do, by means whereof my Lord Jesus Christ shall 
bee more known throughout my own Countrey; even 
throughout the Churches of this Wilderness 

4 d. 10 m. [December.] Saturday. Horrible Crimes, are by 
strange Dispensations of Heaven, discovered in some Com- 
municants of my Church, especially one very criminal 
Adulteress.^ 

I thought it my Duty to himible myself, extraordinarily 
before the Lord on this Occasion, lest the Lord should bee 
offended at mee, for the Liiquities of those that are under 
my Charge. 

I therefore sett apart this Day, for Prayer with Fasting 
in my Study, that I might obtain the Pardon of all my 
own vile Sinfulness, which the Sins of others led mee to 
reflect upon: and I obtained it. 

But one special Errand, upon which I went unto Heaven 
was, that I might procure speedy and wondrous Rebukes 

■ See p. 344 H, infra. 

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DECEMBER, 1697 243 

of God, upon our Indian Salvages, in the East; in which, 
the Lord has heard mee! 

I also besought the Lord, that I might bee pre- 
pared for merciful Tidings, to arrive imto mee, from 
England. 

g d. 10 m. Thursday. Li the Evening of this day, the 
select Company of Christians with whom I once a Fortnight 
privately preach and pray, upon the Approaches of the 
Kingdome of our Lord Jesus Christ, heard mee discoursing 
to them, on i. Thess. 5. 3. Whence I observed, that men 
shall talk much of PEACE, and look much for PEACE, in the 
World, when the second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, is 
going to be ushered in, with a sudden Destruction on the King- 
dome of Antichrist. 

Immediately after the finishing of our Exercises, Word 
is brought in \mto us, that Ships arrived from England, 
bring the Tidings of a Peace proclaimed among the Nations 
of Europe. And of such an Overthrow given to the Turk, 
as looks Like the second wo passing away. 

10 d. 10 m. This day, I not only imderstand, that the 
Life of Sir Wm. Phips, is published in London; but also 
another of my Composures, very particularly circum- 
stanced. Considering, that the late Calamities fill the Eng- 
lish Nation with poor People, I sent over, in Manuscript 
the last year, my Discourses entitled, Gospel for the Poor. 
The Ship was taken, and so I gave over the Manuscript 
for lost; which occasioned my printing of it, in this Coimtrey. 
Nevertheless, this day I receive a Letter from a Bookseller 
in London, which has this Passage in it. 

"Sir Henry Ashurst, some weeks since, putt a manuscript 
of yours into my Hand, entitled, Gospel for the Poor; but 
hee being most of the Summer in the Coimtrey, wee have 
not concluded on the Terms; but when hee comes to Town, 
I question not, but wee shall agree; and you will have some 
sent you." 

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244 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Sir Henry Ashurst himself also writes to mee; I have it, 
and it will bee printed. 

Oh! what shall I render to the Lord, for the care that 
Hee takes, and the Use that Hee makes of my poor Labours! 

11 d. lo m. Salurcday. I sett apart this Day, for the 
Exercises of a secret Fast, on the same Occasions, that I did 
so, this day Se'imight. 

And the Lord, added the last Night, one Occasion more 
for mee to abound in Exercises, that may prepare mee for 
Death, and ripen mee for Heaven ; Inasmuch as the Newes 
of the Death of my worthy Uncle, Mr. Nathanael Mather, 
a Minister of great Note in London, then arrived unto mee. 
Hee dyed, July 26.' 

12 d. 10 m. [No entry.] 

16 d. 10 m. Thursday. On the last Lord's-day, dyed a 
worthy and a noted Minister in this Town; my dear Friend, 
Mr. John Baily. 

His last words were, Oh! my Lord Jesus Christ is alto- 
gether lovely! All our Praises of Him here, are poor and low 
Things! His glorious Angels are come for mee! 

Before hee was taken sick, hee had, under a Presage of 
his Life and Work drawing to an End, begun to study a 
Sermon on Psal. 31. 5. Into thy Hands I commend My 
Spirit. But hee never had opportunity to finish, or utter, 
what hee had studied. God call'd him from the Study, to 
the Practice of it. 

When hee lay a dying, hee ask'd of mee, that I would 

' He was born in England March jo, 1630, but graduated at Harvard College 
in 1647, and then returned to England. After many experiences he was at the 
time of his death pastor of a dissenting congregation in London. Sewall says: 
"Mr. Cotton Mather was at the Townhouse Chamber pretty merry and pleasant: 
but was made sad by Col. Hutchinsons telling him of the death of his Unlde Mr. 
N. Mather, a very worthy Friend of New England." Diary, i. 465. 

This Day, Mrs. Sarah Cock, having been convicted by her own Confession to 
diverse Persons, together with several corroborating Evidences, of Adultery, three 
Weeks ago, and of telling diverse gross Lyes to cover her Adultery, shee had the 
Censure of Excommunication passed upon her." Colton Mather's MS. Records of 
the Second Churth, 11. 

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DECEMBER, 1697 245 

preach this Text, after his Death. And the Providence of 
Heaven, does now strangely order the Funeral of this good 
Man, to bee on the Day of my Lecture. A vast Assembly 
now came together, and preaching to them on the Text so 
remarkably circumstanced, there was the more of a pun- 
gency on the Truths which I deUvered. Into the Sermon, I 
interwove many Memorables of the Person deceased, which 
also proved a profitable and an acceptable Entertain- 
ment.' 

The PubUcation of this Discourse was much Desired; 
so I gave it unto the Book-sellers. It is entitled, A Good 

M.\N, MAKING A GoOD EnD.* 

And by perusing of my dear Friend's Diaries, I had the 
Opportunity of transcribing into it, abundance of most 
useful Passages. Who am I, that the Lord should make this 
Use of mee ? 

And at this Time also, arrives imto my Sight, the His- 
tory, which I had written of the Life of Sir William Phips; 
printed at London, with very considerable Names recom- 
mending of it, and its (unworthy) Author. Here I see a 
further Answer of my poor Prayers. Our base Tories, are 
in much Anguish at this Book; but it will certainly prove a 
great Service unto the Lord Jesus Christ. 

26 d. 10 m. Satureday. I spent this Day, in the Exercises 
of a secret Fast before the Lord. 

One special Action of this Day, was, my getting, an hope- 
ful young Gentleman, Mr. R. Whittingham, to visit mee at 
my study, and my praying with him, there, in such Terms 
as effectually to pursue my Designs of engaging him unto 
the eternal Service of Christ, and therewithal obtaining the 

• Sewall notes that it was a very cold day. The text of the funeral sermon was 
Psalm 31. 5. Bayley died about three o'clock in the afternoon of Decem- 
ber 12, "just the time he should have stood up to preach for Mr. Willard," 
and after much pain and illness by the Gout and other distempers. Diary, 
I. 46s, 466. 

' Printed by B. Green and John Allen. 

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246 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Favour of God unto him, in a Voyage to England now before 
him.' 

In this Action, I enjoy'd special Communications from 
Heaven, assiiring mee, of a Blessing for my Friend, whom 
I thus carried unto the Lord. 

But in the other Duties of the Day, an unhappy Dark- 
ness, and Coldness attended mee, which made mee fear, 
that I had grieved the Holy Spirit of God. I must con- 
sider, wherein? And seeking a Pardon thro' the Blood of 
Christ, reform it. 

However, on the Day following, at the Lord's Table, the 
Holy Spirit of God came upon mee, in my last Prayer, and 
perswaded mee and assured mee, that my Sins are forgiven 
mee. 

Memorandum. While my Book, entitled, A Good Man 
making a Good End, is in the Press, one thing happens, that 
in part answers the Faith, which I recorded, (28 d. 9 m.) a 
month ago. The Bookseller desires mee to add unto that 
Book; (which will bee greedily read throughout all New 
England!) and I add unto it, my Discourse had a while 
since, at our Lecture, on Act. 11. 26. which I entitled, The 
Character of a Christian. This discourse describes, the 
Respect unto CHRIST, which is essential unto Christianity, 
and the Glory which every true Christian payes unto 
CHRIST. So will my Lord Jesus CHRIST, bee more 
known throughout my Countreyl 

Memorandum. On j d. 11 m. [January.] Arrives to mee, 
a Book in Folio, this year published in London, which pro- 
fesses itself to bee a Collection of Remarkable Providences. 
I find myself often quoted in this Book; yea, very often; 
and very large Paragraphs from several Books of mine 
transcribed into it. And I find, the Names and Lives of 

• Richard Whittingham was admitted to the Second Church, February jo, 
1697-98. 

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JANUARY, 1697-98 247 

Nonconformists, thsrein much magnified, tho' the Book bee 
written by a Conformist. 

This gives mee a very encouraging Prospect, that the 
Publication of my Church-History may now bee seasonable. 

And the Restoration of Peace, makes a more easy Pas- 
sage for it into Europe. 

Yea, To my Surprise, I find an Advertisement of it, at 
the End of the Book, which thus arrives imto mee. 

Behold, the Faith which Irradiated mee, the last Novem- 
ber, answered! 

8 d. 11m. [January] Satureday. I sett apart this Day, 
for the Exercises of a secret Fast before the Lord. 

One sp>ecial Design of my Supplications, was, to obtain 
the Direction of Heaven about my Church-History; the 
Time and Way of my sending it into Europe, and the 
Methods of its Publication. I think, I am assured, that my 
Supplications are heard, in this matter. 

The Rest of this Month prov'd a Time of much Calamity 
to mee. 

Epidemical and Pestilential Colds, at once came upon 
this whole Town, and most of the neighbouring Planta- 
tions. These Colds prov'd mortal to many, and grievous to 
most: nor can any man Uving remember such a Time as 
was hereby brought upon us.' I had my Share in it. A 
sore Cough, lacerated my Breast; and a periodical Head- 
ache, with Fever, did every morning, for a long time together, 
distress mee, with exquisite Miseryes. I was confined for 
almost a whole Month; and sometimes my Distemper 
threatned my Dissolution. 

The Prospect of approaching Death, gave mee an Oppor- 
tunity, to tast the Consolations of God. When I thought, 
of being within a Fortnight, among the Angels, of Heaven, 
(which I was assured that I should bee, at my Departure 

• This winter appears to have been of exceptional severity, with deep snows 
and bitter cold. 

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248 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

hence) it caused mee, to fall into Tears of Joy. And, yett, 
such a sweet contradiction there is in Christianity! I 
resolved, out of Respect unto the Service which I desire 
to do, for the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ, that I would 
keep out of those blessed Hands, yett for a while, if I could, 
by using the best means for my Recovery. The Lord my 
Healer, at length blessed those means, but not until I had 
first praepared myself, by these Considerations. 

That I may come out of my Sickness, as Gold out of the 
Fire: 

I. I must effectually learn this Lesson, that this present 
World, which imhappy Maladies ever now and then recur- 
ring, render such an evil World, is not my Home. And I 
must think more on, and long more for, the glorious World, 
which my Lord Jesus Christ has purchased. 

II. I must enquire after Sin, as the Cause of Sickness. 
And, as I must infer what a bitter Thing, aU Sin in general 
is, from the Bitterness, which I tast in the Effect of it; so, 
I must enquire, whether, a malignant Cold, bee not the very 
distemper of my Soul; a cold Indisposition to Religion, 
accompanied with sinful Malignity. 

III. I must ascribe unto the Lord Jesus Christ, the 
Glory of my Deliverance out of Sickness. When Hee bore 
my Sins, on the Cross, then Hee bore my Sicknesses. Hee 
has by His obedience, made Atonement for the Sins, for 
which, God might make mee sick in smiling mee. His 
Death, is the Price of my Health. And therefore when my 
Health, shall bee restored, I must sett myself, with more 
Vigour than ever, to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ, by bring- 
ing forth much Fruit unto Him. 

When the first Lord's-day of my going abroad arrived; 

6d. 12 m. [February.] I had a very particular Experi- 
ment. 

At noon, I found myself very ill, that I thought it 
impossible for mee, to do any public Service in the After- 

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FEBRUARY, 1697-98 249 

noon: so very ill, that thro' Faintness I could not well rise 
out of my Chair, to pray for the Assistences of Heaven to 
my public Service, as I use to do.' In my Anguish, taking 
the Bible, I turned irnto those Passages, in Dan. iv. 8. lo, 
1 8. / was left alone; there remained no Strength in mee, my 
Comeliness in mee was turned into Corruption; I retained no 
strength. And behold, an Hand touched mee, which sett mee 
cm my Knees. Straightway there remained no Strength in mee, 
neither Breath left in mee: Then there came again and touched 
mee, the Appearance of a Man, and hee strengthened mee. 
Hereupon I cryed unto the Lord, that Hee would send His 
Angel, (and my Angel) to touch mee. And behold, when 
the Time came for my going forth, I received a new Strength; 
and the longer I continued in the public Exercises, the more 
did my Strength seem to return unto mee. I went thro' 
the Exercises, with a very singular Assistence of Heaven, 
and pray'd and preach'd and baptis'd, and managed other 
Church-matters, for the best Part of three Hours together. 
My Sermon was, on Psal. 103. 3, Hee healeth all thy Diseases. 
And my Design, to show, how the Lord Jesus Christ, the God 
of Heaven, is to bee considered and acknowledged as healing all 
the Diseases of His people on Earth. 

In the Beginning of the Following Week, I went thro' 
a great Variety of Work. But my concern to recover the 
Time I had lost in my Sickness, and glorify my Lord Jesus 
Christ being managed with too indiscrete an Intemperance, 
I was cast into a Fitt of the Cholic, which held mee for 
diverse Hours. 

But God looked on my Affliction and my Pain, and forgave 
my Sin, and heard my SuppUcations in the Name of my 
L[ord] Jesus Christ. I found speedy Releef . And Hee gave 

•"Mr. Wigglesworth preach'd Jan'y 23, from those words. Who can stand 
before his Cold ? Then by reason of his own and peoples sickness, three Sabbaths 
passed without publick worship. Feb. 20, a very cold day. He preached from 
those words; He sends forth his word and thaws them; which began 21 and espe- 
cially 22, and has thaw'd much and yet moderately." Bewail, Diary, 1. 471. 

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250 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

mee an Opportunity, with a great Assistence, to preach unto 
a great Assembly, on the Thursday-Lecture. Where, consid- 
ering how almost all the Town had been sick, I sett myself 
to direct the best Improvement of it, that I could, with a 
Discourse, on Isa. 33. 24. The Inhabitant shall net say, I 
am sick; but the People bee forgiven their Iniquity. 

The Subjects handled in my publick Ministry (besides those 
which the former Pages, have on special occasions mentioned.) for the 
year, thus expired, were these. 

I have preached, four and twenty Sermons, (usually every other 
Lords-day,) on the S3d chapter of Isaiah. Two Sermons more, wiU 
finish my Design upon the Chapter. 

1 reserved myself (as formerly) a Liberty, for the most part, 
every other Lord's-day, to discourse on such occasional Subjects, as 
I might see, would bee most edifying for my Congregation. 

21 d. I. m. [March.] I discoursed; on Jam. 2. 20. Good Works; 
justifying our Faith. 

^d. 2 m. [April.] On, Joh. 6. 70. Diabolical Hypocrites, in the 
purest Societies. (When a Censure was passed in the Church.) 

2 (f. 3 m. [May.] On, Luk. 14. 27. The Cross. (Affictions being 
multiplied.) 

30 d. 3 m. On Luk. 13. 6. The Lord looking for Fruit. 

13 d. 4 m. [June.] On Prov. 28. 14. Fearing alwayes. (When 
most fearful things had happened, in some that after much Reputa- 
tion for Godliness, had yett killed themselves, even with praenatural 
Assistences, as it should seem, from Djemons in the Tragedy.) 

27 d. 4 m. On Prov. 28. 14. Hardness of Heart. 

25 d. s m. [July.] On Psal. 94. 22. Christ a Rock for our Shelter. 
(When a formidable Invasion from the French, was expected.) 

id. 6 m. [August.] On Hos. 10. 12. The Rain of Righteousness. 
(In a Time of sore Drought.) 

22 d. 6 m. On, Psal. 102. 23. 24. Wonderful works of God, seen 
by those that go to Sea. (When a great Fleet of my Neighbours, 
were going to sea.) 

19 d. 7 m. [September.] On Luk. lo. 34. The merciful and plen- 
tiful care, taken by Christ, in His Church, for the Welfare of Souls, 
wounded by Sin. 

3 rf. 8 w. [October.] On, Eph. 3. 8. The unsearchable Riches of 
Christ. (My Neighbours being impoverished with many Losses.) 

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FEBRUARY, 1697-98 251 

17 i. 8 m. On, Rom. i. 26. Sin punished with Sin. (On some 
sad Instances of it.) 

14 d. 9 m. [November.] On 2. Tim. 3. 5. A Fonn of Godliness, 
without the Power of it. (Beholding it sadly every where exempli- 
fied.) 

2&d.gm. On Gen. 28. 17. The Reverence to bee paid imto 
God in Places, that are signalized with His special Presence. (Be- 
cause I saw it exceedingly wanting.) 

12 d. 10 m. [December.] On Math. 8. 12. The children of the 
Kingdome cast out. (When there was a tragical Instance of one, cast 
out of our Church.) 

On sacramental Occasions, I discoursed, 

21 d. 12 m. [February.] From, i. Tim. 3. 16. Christ, seen by 
Angels. 

19 d. 2 m. [April.] Then, Preached unto the Gentiles. 

Sd.jm. [September.] Then, Beleev'd on in the World. 

31 i. 8 m. [October.] Then, Received up into Glory. 

26 d. 10 m. [December.] From, Math. 9. 2. The Wayes wherein 
wee have the Forgiveness of Sin declar'd and assur'd. 

In my Lectures, I discoursed, 

10 d. I m. [March.] and j d. 2 m. [April.] From Math, 8. 24, 25, a6. 
What's to bee done, when wee see ourselves on the very Point of 
Perishing. (Which wee then were.) 

3 d. 4 w. [June.] From, Hab. 2. 13. The use to bee made of 
signal and wondrous Disappointments, blasting our most hopeful 
AflEayrs. (Which wee see all the World over.) 

26 d. 6 m. [July.] From Rev. 19. 6. The Satisfaction to bee had 
in the Reign of Christ, under all Changes. (When I look'd for a 
Peace.) 

7 m. [August.] From, Act. 11. 25. The Character of a Christian. 

iS d. g m. [November.] From, Phil. 2. 12. Working out Salva- 
tion with Fear. (Composed, Raptim, Die frigidissimo.) 

13 d. II m. [January.] From, 2. Tim. 3. 9. The Power of Godli- 
ness. On a General Fast, 13 d. 3 m. [May.] From, Num. 14. 19. 
Mercy, the best plea. On a general Thanksgiving, iid.gm. [Novem- 
ber.] From Psal. 136. 23. Remembrance in our low Estate. 

The Jewes tell us, of R. Joshua hen Ananiah, that his 
Face was Black, by reason of his Fastings. Why is his 
Name called Ashur! (1. Chron. 4. 5.) Because his Face 

was Black by Fastings. 

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1697-9^ 

THE XXXVlTH YEAR. 

Ego Sic Semper et ubique Vixi tanquam uUimum Diem, 
nunquam rediturum, Consumeretn. Eumolp. 

C. M. Can't say so! 

Discupio Solvi, Tecumque, Christe, Manere: Portio fac 
Regni, sim qiwtacunque Tui. Beza. 

C. M. would say so! 

C cetera Vitia, in Peccalis; superbia in reclefactis, Maxime 
est titnenda. Aug. 

Lett C. M. amidst his few recte Facta,(if they bee such!) 
take the Caution. 

In Operibus sit abundantia mea; Divitijs per me hevt 
abundet quisquis voliierit. Melanch. 

C. M. heartily subscribes to This! 

THE XXXVlTH YEAR OF MY AGE. 

12 (i. 12 OT. 1697. This Day, thro^ the Forbearance of 
God, I am thirty five Years old. When I behold, how ex- 
tremely foolish, and carnal, I still am, and how httle Ser- 
vice I have done for my Lord Jesus Christ, at this Age, my 
Spirit sinks with Astonishment! Lord! I am astonished, 
that thou hast Suffer'd such a barren Tree, to stand thus 
long, among thy People. 

I would have spent this Day, in the Exercises of a proper 
Devotion; only, having the Feebleness of my late Sickness 
yett upon mee, I durst not further enfeeble myself, lest I 
should become indisposed, for the Labours of the Lord's- 
day, which is to-morrow. 

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FEBRUARY, l697~98 253 

However, I did spend some Time-extraordinary, in con- 
fessing and bewayling the Sins of the Year past, and giving 
Thanks for the Mercies of the year; and in Supplications, 
that in the ensuing Year, I may enjoy the gracious Presence 
of God with mee. 

iSd. 12 m. Friday. I sett apart this Day, for the Duties 
of a secret Fast, before the Lord: that I might obtain from 
Him, those Measures of Sanctity, which the Lord Jesus 
Christ, has purchased for His chosen Servants; and that 
I might bee favoured in special Endeavours to serve the 
Name of my Lord Jesus Christ, wherein I am now engaged. 
(And for Direction about my Church History.) 

I renewed, my Acceptance of the Lord, in the Cove- 
nants of Grace, resigning myself unto Him, with Tears 
of Joy. 

22 d. 12 m. I did, this Winter, with many Cries to 
Heaven about it, undertake to write a Book of Essays, for 
the Illustration, and the Demonstration of the Christian 
Religion. This Day, I finish that Book, which I entitled. 
The Confirmed Christian: Beholding the Triumphs of 
Christianity, over all its Adversaries. 

And it is now Time for mee to observe, that I have 
enjoy'd a wonderful Assistence from Heaven, in the writing 
of it. Altho' I have been full of other Employments, and 
have lost more than a little Time thro' Sickness, and Sloth 
and Sleep do shamefully prevail upon mee, yett, in a few 
Weeks' Time, I have now composed this Treatise, which 
does consist of about four and twenty Sheets. And my 
Meditations have had a strange Supply sent in unto them, 
with Circumstances, that have argued a particidar Care of 
Heaven, about the Work, wherein I am engaged. If this 
Book bee published, I shall do more Service to the Interests 
of my Lord Jesus Christ, than ever in my Life. But I must 
send it unto London, for its Publication ; and therefore I am 
waiting upon the Lord, unto whom the Book is devoted. 

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254 DIARY OF COTTON MATHEB 

for the Direction of His Providence, about what remains 
to bee done, for its coming into Light. 

As I was finishing this Work, some of my Neighbours, 
(and some, from whom I little expected any such Respect,) 
call for the Discourse, which I lately uttered, at Boston- 
Lecture, after that a great part of the Town, as well as my- 
self, had recovered from our late Illness. Accordingly in a 
Peece of a Day or two, I fitted the Discourse for the Press, 
and gave it unto the Bookseller. It is entitled. Mens sana 
IN CoRPORE SANO. or, a Discourse upon Recovery from Sick- 
ness.^ O my Lord Jesus Christ! I am astonish'd, I am 
astonish'd, at thy Favours, in thus employing the most 
unworthy Sinner in the World. 

1698. 

4 <f. I m. [March.] Friday. I was this Day (as this Day 
fortnight) engaged in the Duties of a secret Fast, before the 
Lord. 

God helped mee, this Day, with tearful Agonies, to cry 
xmto Him, for the Pardon of the Sins, which I bitterly con- 
fessed before Him; and lay hold on the offered Righteous- 
ness of the Lord Jesus Christ, for my Justification; and 
plead the Merits of His Blood, that I may bee purified from 
all Iniquity, and sanctified with a great Measure of Grace 
bestowed upon mee. 

In the Close of the Day, as I lay prostrate on my Study 
floor, in the Dust, before the Lord, the Spirit and the Angel 
of the Lord came nigh imto mee; and so as I cannot utter, 
assured mee. Thai I shall serve my Lord Jesus Christ, yett 
exceedingly; and, more particularly, that I am quickly to do 
a special Service of great Consequence for the Name of my 
Lord Jesus Christ, which, as yett I know not what it is. 

And, putting those two Composures, my Church-History, 

> Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1698. 

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MARCH, 1097-98 255 

and my Confirmed Christian, into the Hands of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, it was told mee from Heaven, That they shall 
bee carried safe to England, and there employed for the 
Service of my glorious Lord. 

The Rest of the Beginning of this Month, brought with 
it, little that was remarkable; besides multiplied Experi- 
ences, of strange Dejections, and sad Buffetings upon my 
Mind, just when I have been going to do some special Ser- 
vice for the Lord Jesus Christ in my public Ministry, and 
then a more than common Assistence and Enlargement, in the 
Service itself, when the Opportimities for it arrived. 

The Arrival of a ptMic Fast, the Middle of this Month, 
released mee, from my Intentions of a secret one. 

20 d. I m. Lord's-Day. This Day after my public 
Labours, retiring into My Study, at the Evening, I there 
cast myself prostrate in the Dust, on my Floor before the 
Lord. And there, a wonderful Thought with an Heavenly, 
Force, came into my Mind; That God loved my Lord JesjiS 
Christ infinitely, and had given Worlds imto Him, and made 
Him the Lord of all; and, that I had, thro' the Efiicacy of 
His Grace upon mee, my Heart exceedingly sett upon the 
glorifying of my Lord Jesus Christ and was entirely devoted 
imto Him. Hereupon, an unutterable Joy fill'd my Mind, 
from Assurance, that God, for the Sake of my Lord Jesus 
Christ, had great Things to do for mee; that Hee would even 
delight in mee, and delight in using mee, and use mee in I 
eminent Services for Him, who is dearer to mee, than all! 
Things. Yea, it was told mee, from the World, whereto 
I am going, that the Angels of my Lord Jesus Christ, had 
marvellous Offices of Good-Will to do for mee, and that they 
would, on the Score of my Lord Jesus Christ, love mee, help 
mee, teach mee, bee nigh mee, bee mth mee, fetch mee to bee 
with Them forever. 

Memorandum. I was a little comforted with a Word 
spoken to mee, by a Gentleman, a Lawyer, who came a few 

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256 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

months ago out of England, and who since hee came had sett 
himself a little to observe the People of New England: 

"Mr. Mather, (said hee) I can tell you this; All the men 
that have any Vertue or any Reason in them, I find, love 
you, and value you, and honour you; but all the base 
People, who are scandalous for Vice and Wickedness, hate 
you, and can't give you a good Word." 

I d. 2 m. [April.] Friday. I poured out my Prayers this 
Day, with Fasting, in my Study, before the Lord; crying to 
Heaven, for the Pardon of my Sins, the Support of my 
Ministry, the Welfare of my Family, the Deliverance of 
my Countrey from the Invasions of the Salvages, and of the 
whole Protestant Religion and Interest, from the threat 'ning 
Circumstances, whereinto the scandalous Peace [of R}'s- 
wick] lately concluded, has involved it. 

But one special Request, which I this Day made unto 
Heaven was; For the gracious Presence of the Lord Jesus 
Christ with mee, in my Design, on my Lecture the next 
week, to relate and improve the History of the Divine Dis- 
pensations, towards this Town; whereof I am a Native. 

In the close of the Day, Heaven showred upon my 
Mind, imutterable Satisfactions, as I lay in the Dust, before 
the Lord, that I shall yett glorify my Lord Jesus Christ ex- 
ceedingly. 

"] d. 2 m. Thursday. The Lord having helped mee, beyond 
my expectation in preparing a Discourse for the Lecture, 
Hee yett more gloriously helped mee, in uttering of it, unto 
a vast Assembly of His People. 

I first laid my sinful Mouth, in the Dust on my Study- 
floor before the Lord, where I cast myself, in my Suppli- 
cations for His Assistence and Acceptance, as utterly 
unworthy thereof. But the Lord, made my sinful Mouth, 
to become this Day, the Trumpett of His glory; and the 
Hearts of the Inhabitants, of the Town, were strangely 
moved, by what was delivered among them. 

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APRIL, 1698 257 

A Copy of the Discourse, was much desired; I gave it 
unto the Bookseller; entitling it, The Bostonian Eben- 
EZER. And I added another unto it, entitled. Household 
Religion. 1 

After my Lecture, I was taken ill: and tho' I preached 
on the Lord's-day following, with much Help from Heaven, 
yett in the Beginning of the Week, my Illness grew into a 
Feavour. But the Time of my Departure is not yett come! 
The Lord broke my Feavour, in the Begiiming, with season- 
able Applications. Towards the End of the Week, I could 
return to my Studies; and then tho' I had not Strength, to 
spend a Day in Prayer, with Fasting, as I would have done, 
to praepare for the Eucharist, which on the Lord's-day, I 
administred, yett the Lord accepted my feeble Praepara- 
tions. 

In my SeK-Examination, my Soul sallied forth, to these 

'Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, for Samuel Phillips, 1698. No better 
example of Mather's " historical " writing need be sought than this volume 
of what he specifically names "The History of Boston, related and improved." 
Though the "metropolis of America," Boston was, in its early days, prover- 
bially called " Lost Town, for the mean and sad circumstances of it." Terrible 
famines had stared the town in the face; four times had it been visited by the 
small-pox. " How often have there been Bills desiring Prayers for more than 
an Hundred Sick on one Day in one of our Assemblies ? In one Twelve-month 
about one Thousand of our Neighbours have one way or other been carried 
unto their long Home: And yet we are after all, many more than Seven Thou- 
sand Souls of us at this Hour living on the Spot." Ten times had fire wrought 
great destruction, but more than a thousand houses composed the town at the 
time he was speaking. Most wonderful of all, the place had in the last year 
been preserved from an attack by the French. Leaving such matters he turns 
to questions of churches and public morals, and found much to suggest and to 
condemn. Among the disturbing features of the times was the danger of send- 
ing the young men to other lands, where their morals could be corrupted. 
Such a place was Port Royal in Jamaica, recently visited by an earthquake. 
It was noted that "just before the Earthquake the People were violently and 
scandalously set upon going to Fortune-Tellers upon all Occasions: much notice 
was taken of this Impiety generally prevailing among the People : But none of 
those wretched Fortune-Tellers could foresee or forestal the direful Catastrophe. 
I have heard that there are Fortune-Tellers in this Town sometimes consulted 
by some of the sinful Inhabitants. I wish the town could be made too Hot 
for these Dangerous Transgressors." The tract may be seen in the Magnolia, 
Bk. I. 30. 

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258 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

three HIGH ACTS of Beleeving, and Repenting, and 
Loving. 

I. Lord, I am so satisfied in the infinite Glory and Great- 
ness of my Lord Jesus Christ, and of thy infinite Regard 
unto Him, that I wholly give up myself unto that Illustrious 
Lord, and I pitch upon it, as my cheef Happiness, to serve 
Him forever. 

II. Lord, I am in such ill Terms with my Sin, that I 
most heartily give Thanks unto thee, for all the most bitter 
and humbling Dispensations of thy Providence towards mee, 
that have had any Tendency to mortify it. 

III. Lord, I will bee alwayes at Work for Thee, for thy 
People, and bee so far from thinking much of any Work 
which I may do for them, that whatever Sufferings do befal 
mee, for the sake of that Work, I will rejoice in the Sufferings 
exceedingly. 

My many Studies, and Labours, with the Distempers 
of a slothful Soul, hindred mee now from setting apart so 
many whole Dayes, for secret Communion with Heaven, by 
Prayer, with Fasting, as I should have had: And my Spirit, 
I soon felt suffer for the want of these Dayes.' 

3 </. 3 m. [May.] This Day, my Uttle Daughter Hannah, 
was taken very dangerously sick of a Feavour, with Con- 
vulsions, to such a Degree, that there was little Hope of her 
Life. My Lecture, with other Fatigues, coming this Week 
upon mee, I could not Fast and Pray, as I would have done. 
Yett I pray'd, and cry'd unto Heaven, for the Child, and 
openly and pubhckly, as well as privately, made this an 
Opportunity, to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, by the 

' "17 d. 2 m. [April.] This Day, Abiel Loresen, having been convicted of Dis- 
orders in her House, and of Untruths, and of a very indiscreet Action, in going 
and lodging aboard a Frigate, she publickly made a pcenitent Confession of her 
Miscarriages, and the Church accepted her Confession. 

"Moreover Abigail Day, having while she was yett under the Censure of the 
Admonition a Year since passed upon her, fallen into the Crime of Fornication, 
the highest Censure of Excommunication upon her was this Day in the Church 
publickly proceeded unto." Cotton Mather's MS. Records oj Ike Second Church, n. 

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MAY, 1698 259 

cheerful Resignation thereof unto Him. Now, behold, the 
Event! Resigned Enjoyments, will bee still enjoy' d. While 
I was Joyfully, and yett mournfully giving up the Infant 
unto the Lord, the Lord raised my Heart at last, unto some- 
thing of a particular Faith, for its being restored unto mee. 
And, unto my Amazement, it came to pass accordingly. 

Moreover, having written, with exceeding Pains, an 
Idcea and History, of the Reformation, especially in the 
1 English Nation, and of the Obstructions which it has mett 
withal, all still asserted with Passages quoted from the 
Writings of conformable Divines in the Church of England; 
whereto, I have added, some Conjectures, of a Reformation 
and Revolution at hand, exceeding that in the former Cen- 
tury: I now sent the Manuscript, {Anonymous) by the Hand 
of my Brother-in-Law, to a Bookseller in London; and, if 
it bee published, I have a secret Hope, that it will much 
affect the Affayrs of the Church, in the Changes that are 
approaching. In this Treatise, because I distinguish the 
Friends of the Reformation, by the Name of Eleutherians, 
(while I call its Foes, Idumaans,) for the Causes there 
assigned, I therefore entitled the Book, Eleutheria.' Lord! 
Accept and prosper this my poor Endeavour to serve Thee! 

Memorandum; This Morning, when I was in Distress, 
whether I should send my Manuscript unto London, or no, 
I went unto my Family-Prayer; and reading (as usually in 
Mornings,) a Paragraph of the Scripture, to bee tum'd into 
Prayer, that which came of Course to bee read, was, 2. Sam. 
7. in which those words occurring, Go, do all that is in 
thine Heart, for the Lord is with thee. I felt a strange Force 
on my Mind, assuring mee, that my Action should bee 
prospered. 

13 </. 3 w. Friday. I am now returned unto my dear 

• The word was originally applied to Zeus as protector of political freedom. 
It also meant a deliverer. The more usual form of Idunuea is Edom, whence 
Edomites. See p. 280, infra. 

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26o DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Exercises of Praying with Fasting, in Secret before the Lord. 
Besides my own manifold Sinfulness, there are more Scan- 
dals, committed by some in my Church, that call for my 
deepest Humiliation; which accordingly I therefore en- 
deavoured. And I carried my Ministry, and the Things I 
have written, or design to write, for the Churches, and my 
Family, and Friends, and Church, and Colledge, and 
Countrey, and our Churches, especially our distempered 
Ones, and the English Nation, and the Protestant Inter- 
est, especially in France, imto the everglorious Hearer of 
Prayer. 

In the following Week, I considered, that wee had many 
of our poor Friends, fallen into the Hands of the Turks and 
Moors, and languishing under an horrible Slavery in Zallea. 
And, I considered, that it might bee a thing very service- 
able imto the Souls of those poor Slaves, to write unto them 
some agreeable Meditations. 

Wherefore, I wrote imto these distressed People, a 
Letter, to establish them in the Christian Faith, and com- 
fort them imder their terrible Calamities, and counsil them, 
how to make such an use of their Calamities, as to praepare 
them for the Salvation of God. I took some care, to print 
many Copies of this large Letter, that so it might bee, by 
diverse Opportunities, the more certainly conveyed unto 
them. 

I Entituled it; A Pastoral Letter, to the Engush 
Captives est Africa.' 

(Afterwards I understood, that the Lord blessed this 
Pastoral Letter wonderfully to the Captives; yea, it proved 
the Pra:paration and the Introduction unto their Deliver- 
ance.)* 

20 d. Friday. I sett apart this Day, for Prayer with 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, i6q8. 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. Sewall distributed some of those 
letters. Letter Book, i. 300. 

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MAY, 1698 261 

Fasting, in secret before the Lord, on the same Occa- 
sions, and with the same Petitions, that I had this Day 
se'nnight. 

Moreover, another of my Flock, is to bee censured the 
next Lord's-day, for the Crime of Adultery; and one, whom 
I had formerly, with many Cries to Heaven, rescued from 
the Hands of evil Angels, which had a bodily Possession 
of her.' 

I was desirous to humble myself, exceedingly before the 
Lord, for the Scandals of my Flock; lest the Lord should 
bee offended at mee for them. I therefore bewayled my 
own Sins in the sight of Heaven, with Hopes of Pardon 
thro' the Lord Jesus Christ; and so I praepared for that 
sad Action, wherein, I, who myself am a vile Sinner, must 
bee employ'd, for to pass a dreadful Censure on one, for 
sinning against the God of Heaven. 

When the Time, for the Action, on the Lord's-day, 
arrived, I enjoyed an extraordinary Presence of His therein; 
after I had, into a vast Congregation, preached, on Hos. 
9. 15. For the Wickedness of their Doings, I mill drive them 
out of my House. 

29 d. 3 m. Lord's-Day. Tis now a Time, for mee to 
recapitulate the astonishing Answers, which my Lord Jesus 
Christ, begins to give unto my Particular Faith, about the 
State of His People, abroad in the World. 

I read of poor Beleevers, who, thro' Faith subdued King- 
doms. My Lord Jesus Christ, is going to subdue Kingdomes; 
and Hee hath informed, inclined, and assisted the Particular 
Faith, of a vile Sinner, in a Comer of America, to foresee, and 
putt on that Work of His. 

I have secretly, yea, publickly, declared, that the Lord 
Jesus Christ, would speedily bring about a wondrous Reoo- 

'"22 (/. 3 >». [Afay.] Mercy Marshal, being found guilty of Adultery, had the 
highest Censure of Excommunication this day passed upon her." Cotton Mather's 
MS. Records t>f the Second Church, n. 

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262 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

lution, whereby Hee shall come to bee own'd and serv'd 
in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Well, in Scotland, the 
Reformation of the Church, is the last year accompUshed, 
unto the Satisfaction of them that breathed after it. In 
England, the King, upon the unanimous Address of the 
Parliament, has emitted an excellent Proclamation, for the 
suppression of all Profaneness, yea, and, for the punishing 
of them, who pubUsh Doctrines, derogatory to the Person, 
and Ofl&ce, and Glory of Christ: and the Effect of that and 
other Things has appeared in a sudden and wondrous Alter- 
ation, upon the whole Face of the Kingdome: a notable 
Reformation is commenced! 

I have again, and again, received Assurances from the 
Lord, which I have sometimes also in a convenient Maimer 
uttered, that the Lord was going to do an astonishing Work 
in France, for the Reviving of His holy Religion there. 
Behold, the whole Principahty of Orange, which is in the 
Bowels of France, has had an astonishing work done upon 
it: Its Pastors being restored, the holy Religion of Christ is 
restored with them, and the poor Protestants, who had been 
dragoon' d^ into a sad Apostasy, are all, with Transports of 
Joy, recovered. 

Breefly, I have many Years ago pubUshed it, as my 
Opinion, that the Antichrist* entred his last Half -Time, at 
the Half-Reformation in the former Century, and that about 
an hundred and eighty years from thence, would bring us 
to a new Reformation, vastly exceeding the former. Now, I 
live to see in 1697. greater Tendencies to the new Reformc- 

' A form of persecution directed by Louis XIV aRainst French Protestants, 
in which draRoons were quartered upon the persecuted. 

' It is curious to note that " the earliest indications of a thoroughly scientific, 
historical and critical handling " of the question of Antichrist are to be found in a 
work by Ludovicus Alrasar, Vrslifnii! arrant smsus in Apoail., printed at Ant- 
werp in 1614. In Mather's day the subject was treated literally, and as vaguely 
and briefly indicated in certain passaRcs of Scripture, notably in Revelations. In 
reality the Antichrist rests upon an original body of tradition of which Scripture 
contains only a small part. See Cheyne-Black, Encyclopadia Biblica, sub verba. 

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JUNE, 1698 263 

Hon, than there were to bee seen in 1517. for the Half- 
Reformaiian, then begun.' 

my Lord Jesus Christ, accept of mee, the vilest of 
Men, to do some great Things for thee, in the approaching 
Reformation. Thou wilt accept of mee! But, oh! make 
mee a very holy, prayerful, watchful, and prudent Man, 
that I may heefittfor my Master's Use. 

This Day, both in my Study, and in the Pubhc, I did, 
in Imitation of the Angels, in the first Chapter of Zechariah, 
present this Report, before the Lord; that much of the Earth 
sitts stUl, and is at Rest; thro' the Peace lately ratified among 
the Nations of Europe; only Jerusalem is yett in its Ruines; 
the French Churches are dissipated, the Hungarian Churches 
are desolated, the Piemontese Churches are again afflicted: 
And I cried imto Heaven, for a marvellous Redemption to 
bee wrought for them.' It will bee done! It will shortly 
and surely bee done! 

10 d. 4 m. [June.] Friday. I sett apart this Day, for the 
Exercise of a secret Fast: On the same Occasions, that I 
had on diverse late Weeks for my doing so. 

1 was favoured with some Satisfactions, and Entertain- 
ments of an heavenly Importance, in the Duties of the Day; 
and my Interviewes with Heaven, left a Savour on my Spirit. 

Yea, At the Close of the Day, lying prostrate in the Dust 
before the Lord; Quum non sine nusrore ac Dolor e Animi, 
hanc peccatorum meorum Aggravationem, coram Deo recita- 
veram, quod illius Angeli boni et sancti, cum Dolore quodam, 
atrocia mea peccata observassent; et, Quum horum omnium 
Delictorum, per Gloriosissimi Jesu Christi Sanguinem, Fide 
Apprehensum, impetraveram Condonationem; Hoc mihi vide- 

' Luther's theses were published at Wittenberg in 1517 and mark the com- 
mencement of the reformation that renounced mediaeval doctrine. 

• " There is no doubt but the Prayers and Tears of the Massachusets being 
skilfully directed will in the manner of a Warlike Ram have a very considerable 
Efficacy in shaking and shattering Anti-christian Walls at the greatest distance." 
Sewall, Letter Book, 1. 198. 

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264 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

batur a Cmlo persuasum, et infusum, quod Ccdestis quidam 
charissimi mei Salvaloris Angelus, non Solum invisibili suo 
Auxilio me in Operibus sui ac mei Domini sustentaverit, sed 
aliquando, {ante m^um obitum), cum Domino nostra visum 
fuerit, mihi se visibiliter exhibuerit, ut Insignia qucedam, de 
Ecclesia, et Rebus novissimis, patefaciat. 

A Diabolicis lUusionibus, libera, et protege, Indignissimum 
Tuum Servum, Oro te, mi Redemptort 

Latine licec scribo, ne chara mea Conjux, has Chartas ali- 
quando inspiciens, intelligat. 

Moreover, the Lord is furnishing of mee, with one special 
Opportunity, for the Exercise of His Graces, under a Trial 
of a very particular Importance. There is a sort of a Sad- 
ducee in this Town; a man,' who makes little Conscience of 
lying; and one whom no Reason will divert from his mali- 
cious Purposes. This man, out of Enmity to mee, for my 
public Asserting of such Truths, as the Scripture has taught 
us, about the Existence and Influence of the Invisible World, 
hath often abused mee, with venemous Reproaches, and most 
palpable Injuries. I have hitherto taken little Notice of his 
Libels and Slanders; but this Contempt enrages him. I 
understand, that hee apprehends the shortest way to deliver 
People, from the Beleef of the Doctrines which not I only, 
but all the Ministers of Christ in the World, have hitherto 
mentained, will bee, to show the World, what an ill Man I 
am. To this End, I imderstand, hee hath written a Volumn 
of invented and notorious Lies, and also searched a large 
Part of the Books which I have published, and with false 
Quotations of little Scraps here and there from them, 
endeavoured for to cavil at them. This Volimin hee is, as 
I understand, sending to England, that it may bee printed 
there. 2 And now, I thought it, high Time for mee to look 
about mee. 

' Some words in the ms. have been carefully obliterated at this point. 
' Robert Calef is intended, whose More Wonders of the Invisible World appeared 
in London in 1700, His name and book will be mentioned later in this Diary. 

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JUNE, 1698 265 

Wherefore, in my Supplications, I first of all declared 
unto the Lord, that I freely Forgave this miserable Man, all 
the Wrongs which hee did unto mee, and I pray'd the Lord 
also to forgive him, and to do him good even as to my own 
Soul. But then, I pleaded with the Lord, that the Design 
of this Man, was to hurt my precious Opportunities of glorify- 
ing my Glorious Lord Jesus Christ; and I could not but cry 
unto the Lord, that Hee would rescue my Opportunities of 
serving my Lord Jesus Christ, from the Attempts of this 
Man to damnify them. I submitted my Name imto the 
Disposals of the Lord, owning my Deserts to have it vilified, 
and begging His Help to bear it prudently and patiently, if 
it must bee vilified. But yett I earnestly besought the Lord, 
that for the Sake of the Calumnies which my Lord Jesus 
Christ once did suffer for mee, I might bee delivered from 
such Calumnies as might imfitt mee to serve Him. So, I 
putt over, my calumnious Adversary, into the Hands of the 
Righteous God, unto whom I made my Appeal against him. 
In those Hands, I left my Adversary, as not having any other 
to Appeal unto. 

And I now beleeve. That the Holy Angels of my Lord 
Jesus Christ, whose Operations this impious Man denies, 
(which is one great Cause of his Enmity against mee!) will 
do a wonderfid Thing on this occasion! 

23 rf. 4 w. . It was my Custome for many years, to 
write Notes of Sermons, as I heard them. Two or three 
Years ago, I left it oflF, cheefly, because I write so much other- 
wise, that I found myself too much tired with this Action. 
My Soul, I now find, suffers by my omitting it. I do not 
hear Sermons with such Attention, and such Affection, and 
such nimiberless Ejaculations to Heaven, since I left off 
writing after the Preachers, as I did before. Wherefore, I 
now resolved, that I would revive my old Custome; and 
tho' perhaps I may hear many Sermons, wherein I shall 
see sxifficient Meannesses, yett I wiU use to fix my Mind in 
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266 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

hearing, with taking Minutes of what I hear; and keep 
working my Mind all the while, even more than ever, into 
the Frame of the Truths delivered, and praying or praising 
for such Things, as the Truths give mee Occasion to think 
upon. 

24 d. 4 m. Friday. I sett apart this Day, for a secret 
and a solemn THANKSGIVING unto the Lord. 

In the former part of the Day, I endeavoured, especially 
two Things, after I had begun the Day, with my usual 
Devotions, and with imploring the Assistence of Heaven 
for what was before mee; 

First, I did with Bitterness of Soul, confess before the 
Lord, the many and horrid Sins, by which I had rendred 
myself, not only unworthy, of His Favours, but also most 
worthy of the dreadfuUest Judgments, that can bee inflicted. 

Next, I enumerated the more special Mercies of Heaven, 
wherewith I am at this Time surrounded. Particularly, 

I. My spiritual Salvations, in the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and my Title to the Promises of the Covenant of Grace. 

II. My Employment, in the sacred Ministry of my Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

III. My precious Opportunities, even such as no man 
in my Countrey, ever had before mee, to glorify the Lord; 
both in preaching to vast Assemblies of His People,' and in 
printing, if I mistake not, at least threescore Books. 

IV. My recovered Health, with a Freedome, from ter- 
rible Diseases which do render the Lives of many uneasy 
to them. 

V. My Family, my Consort, my Children, and my 
desireable Relations, both praeserved and restored unto mee. 

VI. My Salary, and the comfortable Provision made for 
mee, in my Habitation, above what many other and better 

; Servants of God enjoy. 

' Increase Mather stated the ordinary attendance at this time in his congre- 
gation to be 6fteen hundred souls. Sewall, Diary, i. 493. 

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JUNE, 1698 267 

VII. My unblemished Reputation, in spite of all the 
Malice of Earth and Hell against mee. 

These Things, I thankfully acknowledged unto the Lord. 

My Family-Devoiions I also subordinated unto the 
Design I was now upon. 

And I intermingled Psalms and Hymns, that were agree- 
able. 

And, that I might keep in Time, I essay'd from all sorts 
of Objects, aU the Day long, in the Intervals of my other 
Exercises, to mix numberless Ejaculations of Thanksgiving 
to the Lord. 

In the Afternoon, I sett myself, (with intermixed Psalms). 

I. To consider the wonderful Perfections of the Great 
God, and His Works of Creation, and of Providence; and 
celebrate His Glories therein display'd. 

II. To consider the marvellous Excellencies of my Lord, 
Jesus Christ, and magnify the Greatness of my Lord- 
Redeemer. 

ni. To consider, the Kindness of Heaven to mee, in 
the Ministry of the good ANGELS, and upon the Ac- 
count thereof, to offer up my Praises, unto their Lord, 
and mine. 

rV. To consider, what I should render to the Lord, for all 
His Benefits. 

Hereupon, I gave myself unto the Lord, and resolved 
upon being more fruitful (with His Help,) in my whole 
Conversation; in my Study, my House, my Flock. 

And that my Purposes might bee the better digested, 1 
thought, I would usually spend some Time, on the Lord's- 
Day after I come home to my Study, as I ly on my Couch, 
tired with my puhlick Labours, to contrive into shape, the 
Methods of my glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ. 

26 d. 4 m. Lord's-Day. Considering with myself, that 
the King, upon the Advice and Address, of the House of 
Commons, hath with a Proclamation, as with a great Voice 
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268 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

from Heaven, called upon the Nation, to reform its Vices; ' 
and, that our Goveraour at N. York, and our Lieut. Gover- 
nour in this Province, have proclamed for the like Reformat 
tion here; I thought, it would bee a Service, well-becoming 
the Ministers of the Gospel, to sett an Edge upon these 
holy Essayes. I resolved therefore, That I would on my 
next Lecture, preach to the Countrey, a Sermon upon the 
Zed, with which wee should all endeavour to do, what is 
thus called for. 

I did it the Thursday following, with the Special Assist- 
ence of Heaven. 

8 d. 5 OT. [July.] Friday. This Day, I devoted imto the 
Exercises of a secret Fast. The Occasions, and Exercises, 
were the same, that I have had, on other such Dayes, lately 
observed. Only, I had the Addition of another sad Hu- 
miliation, in that a new Scandal is broke forth in our Church. 
One, whom all had thought well concerning, is lately con- 
victed of horrid Stealing and Lying, and seems too impceni- 
tent.' For this Cause, I thought myself concerned, exceed- 
ingly to humble myself before God, and obtain His Mercy 
thro' His Christ, that neither I, nor my Church, may suffer 
His Holy Displeasure, for the Sins found in any of our 
Communion. I also implored the Presence of the Holy 
Spirit of Christ with mee, in the Censure, wherewith I pur- 
pose the next Lord's-day, to shutt the Leper out of the Camp, 
in a just Sentence, awfully representing the last Judgment 
of God. And what I now implored, I then enjoyed. 

But, in my Prayers at the Table of the Lord, on that 
Lord's-day, I received a special and wonderful Assurance 
from Heaven, that a Marvellous thing for the Glory of the Lord 

' Dated February 34, 1697-98. It is summarised in the notable list of 
English Broadsides prepared tor the Earl of Crawford, i. 507. 

' " 10 d. 5 m. [JiUy.] Joanna Jones, having been found guilty of stealing and 
lying, in many instances, and not agreeably pocnitent, had the Censure of Excom- 
munication this Day passed upon her." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the Second 
Church, u. 

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JULY, 1698 269 

Jestis Christ, will shortly bee done in my Church, which the Lord 
is turn in a strange manner purifying and preparing for it. 

22 d. $m. Friday. I sett apart this Day also, for the 
Exercises of a secret Fast, as a Fortnight ago. 

The distressed Case of some Contentions,* and other 
apostatising Churches among us, was one special Matter 
of my Supplications before the Lord. 

This Day, when I was pouring out my Prayers unto the 
Lord, I mentioned the Prolongation of my Life, to enjoy 
and improve more Opportxmities, of glorifying Him. In 
my Prayers, I humbly represented unto the Lord, that 
there were two Objections against Dying, which Flesh 
would bee ready to make; but thro' His Grace I had con- 
quered them. First, my Flesh pleaded, that the Comforts 
of Earth, were too agreeable Things, to bee easily forsaken. 
But my Faith is perswaded and satisfied, that the Delights 
of Heaven are sweeter than the Comforts of Earth; and I can 
freely leave all the Entertainments of this evil World, that 
I may bee with Christ, where to bee, is by far the best of all. 
Secondly, my Flesh pleaded. What will become of my poor 
Offspring, when I am gone? But my Faith is perswaded 
and satisfied, that God will bee a Father to my fatherless 
Offspring; and my Lord Jesus Christ, whom I have served, 
without seeking, as many others would have done, to enrich 
myself, with a Portion for my Children, will marvellously 
become such a Guardian to my Orphans, that they shcUl 
never want any good Thing. My Mind being on these two 
Accoimts, thus easy, and ready to dy, I then besought of 
the Lord, nevertheless, that Hee would yett spare my Life, 
to work for Him, a little more, among His People. 

'One of these "contentions" may be gathered from the joint letter from 
Increase and Cotton Mather to the Church in Charlestown on its receiving Rev. 
Simon Bradstreet to be its pastor. The Mathers objected that he believed the 
church covenant to be a human invention. Bradstreet was not ordained at 
Charlestown till October 26, 1698, succeeding Rev. Charles Morton. 4 Collections, 
vm. 119. Sewall, Diary, 1. 448. 

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270 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Some of my cheef Desires this day before the Lord were, 
that I might bee fill'd with Grace, and that all my filthy 
Lusts, might bee extinguished by the Power of His Grace 
and Spirit. 

But, I had also special Petitions to Heaven about the 
Manuscripts, which I have sent into England; and the 
Angels of Heaven have once and again revived mee, with 
strange Assurances, that the Lord hath accepted, and pros- 
pered my Composures, and will give them, among His 
People, a considerable Operation. 

In the Beginning of the Month of August, I travelled 
unto Sudbury, with other Ministers and Messengers of 
Churches, where a Council assembled, at the Desire of some 
aggrieved Brethren, to rectify the Male-Administrations of 
the Church there. Here the Lord made use of mee, to 
draw up the Advice of the Council, and publickly to address 
the Church, with several Speeches, which I thought their 
Circumstances called for. 

The Fatigues of this Journey hindred mee, from keeping 
a Day of Prayer with Fasting, in my Study as otherwise I 
might have done this Week. 

Nevertheless, I enjoyed a special Presence of the Lord 
Jesus Christ with mee, in the Exercises of the following 
Lord's-Day. And, whereas, one of the last Times I was at 
the Lord^s-Tdble, I made my particular Apphcations imto 
the Lord Jesus Christ, in the way of sacramental Com- 
munion, to obtain from Him, the Cure of that one Distemper, 
an Heart wandring with impertinent Thoughts, in religious 
Exercises, I must now record, that I have seen an extraor- 
dinary Success, of my Faiths making those Apphcations. 
On this Lord's-day particularly, I know not, that one sen- 
tence passed mee, in all the five Prayers made by Father, 
or, one Head or Text, of all the long Sermon preached by 
him in the Forenoon, but what my Heart accompanied 
with some agreeable Ejaculation. And my own Services 
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SEPTEMBER, 1698 27I 

in the Afternoon, were under the special Operations of 
Heaven. 

In the Month of August, I sett myself to consider on 
some further and special Services for the Name of my Lord 
Jesus Christ. And I foresaw a very comprehensive one to 
bee done, first, in collecting and improving the observable 
Dispensations of God, which have occurred, in the long War,^ 
which wee have had with our Indian Salvages, and uttering 
my Observations, in a Sermon or Two, at our Countrey- 
Lecture: And, then, in composing as agreeable an History 
of our Indian-War as I can, and incorporating into it, as 
charming and useful Entertainments for the Countrey, as 
I may think upon: so, resigning myself up to the Conduct 
of the Spirit of Grace, I sett about the Service thus before 
mee; hoping within a few Weeks time, in the midst of my 
other Undertakings, to dispatch it, for the Glory of my 
Heavenly Lord. 

The Work, being accompUshed, I putt upon it the Title 
of Decennium Luctuosum.' It is filled with a great Vari- 
ety of Things, contrived as well as I can together, for the 
Glory of my Lord Jesus Christ, and the Welfare of His 
People, throughout the Land. 

my God, I exceedingly give Thanks to thy Name, for 
the Help thou hast given mee, in dispatching this Work! 

2d. J m. [September.] Friday. I spent this Day, in the 
Exercises of a secret Fast; carrying to the Lord, the Affayrs 
of my own Soul, my Ministry, my Family, my Flock, His 
Churches, and the particular Services, I have before mee, 
especially in a Journey to Salem and Ipswich, the next week. 
My God will hear mee. 

4d. J m. Lord's-Day. I considered with myself, that 
there are many Miserables, at this Time, in our Prison; 

1 The war had lasted for about ten years. 

' Printed in 1699, by B. Green and J. Allen, for Samuel Phillips. It contains 
(p. 199) his sermon at Boston Lecture, September 37, 1698. 

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272 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

and that their Circumstances, would afford unto a Minister, 
an Opportunity to speak very pungent things unto them. 
So, albeit, I preached, and administred the Eucharist, in the 
former Part of the Day, yett after our afternoon Exercises 
were over, I visited the Prison. There I pray'd with the 
poor Creatures, and preach 'd imto them, on Psal. 142. 7. 
Bring my Soul out of Prison. They heard mee, with Floods 
of Tears: Who can tell, but that I have this day found an 
Onesimus? Who can tell, but some Wretches, by running 
into Prison, may run into the Arms of Christ, and His vic- 
torious Grace! 

On September 5. I travelled unto Salem, with a good 
Hand of Heaven upon mee. On the next Day, I Travelled, 
with a Council of five Chiurches, to Chehacco; where the 
Day following, the Lord made some use of poor mee, among 
other of His more able Servants, to help the Case laid before 
us; and indeed, Hee appeared wonderfully, in the very Arti- 
cle of our Extremity, when wee were upon the very Point 
of cutting off a disorderly Church, from the Communion 
of the Faithful, to subdue, and alter the Spirits, with which 
wee were concerned, and bring things to a comfortable 
Issue. On the Thursday, I preached the Lecture at Ipswich. 
On the Friday, I returned unto Salem. And on the Lord's 
Day I preached both Forenoon and Afternoon, at Salem. 
The Lord gave mee aforehand, a ParticiUar Faith, for His 
assisting, accepting, and prospering my Labours at Salem; 
and His Presence was mightily with mee, in my Labours, 
giving mee therewithal, a marvellous Ground of Hope, that 
thro' His Hand with mee, many are this Day there turned 
unto the Lord. 

On the Day following I returned Home, imto an House 
fiU'd with the Mercies of the Lord. 

Finding, that whenever I go abroad, the Curiosity and 
Vanity of the people discovers itself, in their great Flocking 
to hear mee; with no little Expectation; it still causes mee 
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SEPTEMBER, 1698 273 

aforehand, exceedingly to humble myself before the Lord, 
and cry from the Dust unto Him, that the fond Expectation 
of the People, may not bee chastised, upon myself, in His 
leaving of mee to any Inconvenience. By this Method, 
I not only am in a comfortable Measure kept from the 
foolish Taste of poptdar Applause in my own Heart, but also 
from the humbling Dispensations of Heaven, whereto the 
Fondness of the People might otherwise expose mee. 

One Day, while I was at Salem, I retired into the Bury- 
ing-place, and att the Grave of my dear younger Brother' 
there, I could not but fall down on my knees before the 
Lord; with Praises to His Name, for granting the Life of 
my dead Brother to bee writt, and spread, and read, among 
His People, and bee very serviceable: and for sparing mee, 
a barren Wretch, to survive these many years, upon the 
Earth, to serve His People, in several Parts of the World. 
I then considered, what if I were speedily to bee called away 
by Death, after my younger Brother? I found my Spirit, 
gloriously triumphing in the Thoughts of going by Death, 
to bee with the Lord Jesus Christ, and among His Angels. 
But when I further Thought, of staying to glorify Him, 
tho' in the midst of many Temptations, among His People 
here, I did, at present, because of my Age, prefer this; and 
request it of the Lord.^ 

28 d. 7 m. Wednesday. The Lord of my Life, and of 
my Health, how mercifully hath Hee, in Answer to many 
Prayers, restored my Health! Four Dayes this Week, I 
preach, and yett I do not sink under it. One of these 
Dayes, was this Day; wherein, I rode, it may bee fourteen 

'Nathaniel. 

' " 18 d. 7 m. [September.] Voted by the Church, that whereas the Land on 
which the late Enlargement of the Meeting House now stands, is unjustly appre- 
hended by a certain person or two, to have been originally an High-way left for 
them, and they complain accordingly, the Deacons (with the Elders) are now 
desired and empowered by the Church to do all that they shall judge necessary to 
bee done for the comfortable Issue of that Affayr." Cotton Mather's MS. Records 
of the Second Church, n. 

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274 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

Miles in the Morning, even to Reading, and rode Home, a 
shorter Way, of about a dozen Miles, in the Evening; and 
preached at Reading, unto a great Auditory, gathered from 
all the Towns in the Neighbourhood. 

In my Journey, going out, I received a remarkable 
Deliverance. Riding over a Bridge, one of the rotkn Poles 
upon it broke; and my Horse broke thro' and broke in, 
and sunk down to his very Breast. I chose rather to keep 
the Saddle, than go off into the River; and the Horse, to 
the Astonishment of my Company rose again, (tearing off a 
Shooe in his Rising,) and leaped over, with mee safe upon 
him. How happily do the Creatures all serve us, while wee 
are serving, their and our Lord, the Blessed Jesiis! 

1 d.8m. [October.] Saturday. I endeavoured the Duties 
of a secret Fast, this Day, before the Lord. The Occasions 
of it, were such as I have mentioned for the like Duties, in 
some former Weeks. In the Duties, there occurr'd some 
Things, I could gladly have written. But, alas, my Em- 
ployments do so thrust in upon mee, that I miss writing 
Multitudes of Passages, which it would bee comfortable and 
profitable afterwards to reflect upon. 

13 <f. 8 m. Thursday. This Day, I received of Mr. 
[Joseph] Baxter, the Pastor of the Church in Medfield, the 
following Account, written by himself. 

"Joan Ellis, a very Godly Widow, about fourscore years of Age, 
was deprived of her Hearing, to her great Grief, and Sorrow. Shee 
became so Deaf, that it was very DiflBcult, for any to Discourse with 
her; and shee could hear Nothing, when shee went unto the House of 
God. Whereupon shee was exceedingly troubled and distressed, that 
shee could not enjoy the Benefit of the public Ordinances. Neverthe- 
less shee was all that while, constant in her Attendence, thereupon: 
but was afraid, that God was angry with her, because of his thus deal- 
ing with her. At this Time, shee hearing of a Book of Mr. Mathers, 
wherein hee gives an Account of some Miracles, wrought lately by the 
Lord Jesus Christ, was exceedingly revived at the Hearing thereof; 
belecving that Christ was able to work a Miracle on her, as well as on 

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OCTOBER, 1698 27s 

Others; (for she thought, that shee was now so old, that shee could not 
hear again, unless a Miracle was wrought). So that shee could not 
bee satisfied, without seeing of the Book, but went presently and 
borrowed it. And there, viewing what Christ had done of late, did 
exceedingly magnify, and admire, the Power and Goodness of Christ, ' 
and did earnestly Desire, that Hee would make known His Power on 
her: Thinking on the Words of the Leper, // Tkou unit, thou canst 
make mee clean; and of the Centurion, Speak the Word, and my Ser- 
vant shall bee Healed. Shee beleeved, that Christ could, and would, 
give her, her Hearing, and upon this, shee had her Hearing suddenly 
restored unto her: and to this Day can fiear very well, and doth with 
great Comfort attend upon the pubUc Ordinances of Christ, but is 
very much afraid, that shee is not thankful enough unto the Lord 
Jesus Christ, for so great a Mercy." 

26 d. 8 m. This Day, at CharlesUrwn, was the public 
Ordination of a Pastor, which was accompHshed with no 
little Difficulty, thro' his Averseness, to conform unto the 
Orders of our Churches. 

The Messengers of the Churches, with their unanimous 
Vote, calling mee, to give him the Right Hand of their Fellow- 
ship; I perform'd it in the public Assembly, with such 
undeserved Assistences of the Lord, that I afterwards heard 
it said, there were hardly any there, but what either wept 
or trembled in the Action. Alas, I was one of the most 
shallow, and sinful Creatures, (my very Soul beleeves it!) 
in the Assembly: yett the Lord helped mee, (and the more 
Eis Glory!) to signify in some lively Terms, unto the Minis- 
ter then ordained, first, what Sort of Churches, they were, 
into the Services whereof hee was now accepted; (particu- 
larly, that they were not only like to the primitive, in the 
Instances, which I specified, but also that they were some 
of the soundest Parts of the Church of England;) And then, 
what Service tis, that they expected from him: (intimating 
in several Instances, how hee should acquitt himself, so as to 
please, our Glorious Lord;) Hereupon, I gave my Hand 
unto him, in the Name of our churches, expressing what this 
Rite intended. And, so, I addressed the Church, also; in 
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276 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

my Address taking some Notice of the Days of Temptation 
which had been among them; and, (knowing them, to have 
had an horribly railing sort of People among them,) I did, 
without quoting the Words of it, leave the first of James, 
and the twenty sixth, among them, to bee considered, if ever 
they should grow out of Frame any more. Many more 
Things, were then uttered, which need not here bee inserted. 

28 d. 8 m. The Printer, wanting something to fill the 
last Leaf of his Almanack, for the year, 1699, came unto 
mee, to furnish him . I could not but see, a special oppor- 
tunity given mee, to send some serviceable Admonition, 
into every Corner of the Land. I took my Opportunity, 
and wrote a few ptmgent Lines, concerning the Changes, 
which may bee coming as a Snare upon the Earth; and ad- 
vising every particular Person however, to consider, whether 
in this Year, there may not come upon himself, the greatest 
Change that ever befel him; even that of his own Mortality. 

Who knowes, what good may bee done, by such a seem- 
ingly trivial, but extensive way, as that of the Almanack! ' 

29 d. 8 7n. I spent this Day, in the Duties of a secret 
Fast before the Lord. 

The Occasions and Exercises of this Day, differed little, 
from those that I have kept in the former part of the 
Year. 

But the Lord, irradiates my mind, with Assurances, that 
I have Tidings coming from England, of His accepting my 
poor Composures to serve His People there, and ordering 
some of them, to bee published. 

My Soul, wait thmi, upon God! 

Moreover, a miserable j'oung W^oman, being this Day 
condemned to dy, for murdering her base-bom Child, I 
pray'd unto the Lord, that her Condition might bee so 
ordered in His providence, as to give mee a special Oppor- 
tunity of glorifying my Lord Jesus Christ, on that Occasion. 

'In Tulley, 1699. The printer was B. Green. 

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NOVEMBER, 1698 277 

T'wil doubtless bee so! The Lord from Heaven satisfied 
my mind, that it will bee so. 

On the Day following, the condemned prisoner was 
brought unto our Congregation; and a special Assistence of 
Heaven, was granted mee, in my sermon, which I adapted 
imto that Occasion, as well as unto the more desireable 
Occasion of the Eucharist, which I then administred.' 

My poor Uncle Cotton, being reconciled unto the Church 
at Plymouth, is by the Agent of the destitute Flock at Caro- 
lina, now invited thither! Hee not only told mee, that just 
before this most imexpected Invitation was brought unto 
him, hee had kept three Dayes together in Prayer with 
Fasting before the Lord, that the Lord would look upon 
him in his desolate Condition; but hee also, now lying wind- 
bound in this Town, sett apart (as hee tells mee) such 
another Day (5 d. 9 m.), in the Close whereof, hee came to 
mee, in my Study, with Desires that I would pray with 
him, and committ unto the Lord, him, and the great Con- 
cern of this Voyage. I did so.* Memorandum. The par- 
ticular Articles, in the Testimonies (which were single ones) 
against my Uncle, being this Day laid before my Uncle, hee 
very peremptorily denies the most, and the worst of them. 

About this Time, a Friend of mine going to London, I 
sent by him, to bee pubhshed, three Discourses, one, about, 
Heart work, another, about the Stewardship of Talents, a 
third, about ejaculatory Prayer. The Book I entitled. The 
Serious Christian.' May the Lord prosper it! 

II d. g m. [November.] Friday. Because my mind is 
touch'd from Heaven, with particular Assurances, that I 

' Sarah Threeneedles was the sufferer, and Thomas Savage, Jun., shopkeeper, 
was charged by her of the fault. Sewall says "Fifth-day, Nov'r 17th. Very fair 
serene wether; Mr. Cotton Mather preaches at the South-Meetinghouse; Sarah 
Threeneedles is an Auditor; is a very vast Assembly, and the street full of such as 
could not get in." Diary, i. 486. 
' ^ Three lines were struck out here. 

' Printed in London, 1699. 

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278 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

shall quickly hear happy Tidings from England, of the Lord's 
Accepting my poor Composures to glorify Him there, and 
that I shall here also have some further and special Oppor- 
tunities to glorify Him, I made it my Study to praepare for 
these wonderful Salvations of the Lord: And therefore, I 
sett apart this Day, for the Exercise of a secret THANKS- 
GIVING, in my Study, before Him. The Methods of Devo- 
tion, which I used this Day, were much the same that I have 
observed on some other Dayes Uke this But the Delights 
and Raptures, whereto the Lord raised my Soul, in these 
Methods, were beyond, what I have ordinarily enjoy'd. 
The Holy Lord has this Day dealt familiarly with mee; I 
have this Day gone into the Suburbs of Heaven; the Spirit 
of my Lord has carried mee thither, and has told mee glori- 
ous Things; yea. Heaven has come near unto mee, and 
fill'd mee with Joy unspeakeable and Fidl of Glory. I caimot 
utter, I may not utter, the Communications of Heaven, 
whereto I have been this Day admitted: but this I will say, 
/ have tasted thai tite Lord is gracious. 

My Exercises and Enjoyments, left mee very faint. 
Indisposing Illness came upon mee. And that I might bee, 
the more effectually Buffeted, the Providence of the most 
High, ordered some Things to befall mee in and from my 
Neighbourhood, which had a more than ordinary Measure 
of Temptacon and Vexacon in them. I saw the holy Hand 
of the Lord in these Things, to abase mee, under and after 
His matchless Favours. 

13 d. g m. Lord's-Day. This Day, I baptised four 
Negro's; and the Lord helped mee, to make this Action, a 
special Occasion of my glorifying Him: especially, with what 
I then spoke unto the rest of that Nation.' 

lyd.gm. Thursday. Now I feel that there is a God, 

' Samuel, a negro servant of Robert Howard, Katharine, a negro woman, wife 
of Thomas, chair-maltcr, and two infant children of Samuel. The names are 
obtained from the MS. church records. 

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NOVEMBER, 1698 279 

and there is a Christ, and there is an Holy Spirit, and there 
are glorious Angels, and I am a Servant of the Lord, and a 
Fellow-servant with His Angels! 

The Execution of the miserable Malefactor, was ordered 
for to have been the last Week, upon the Lecture of another. 
I wondred then what would become of my Particular Faith, 
of her condition being so ordered in the Providence of God, 
that it should furnish mee, with a special Opportunity to 
glorify Him. While I was entirely resigning to the wisdome 
of Heaven, all such Matters, the Judges, wholly without 
my seeking, altered and allow'd her Execution to fall on the 
Day of my Lecture. The General Court then sitting, ordered 
the Lecture to bee held in a larger and a stronger House, 
than that old one, where tis usually kept. For my own 
part, I was weak, and faint, and spent; but I humbly 
gave myself up to the Spirit of my Heavenly Lord and 
Hee assured mee, that Hee would send His good Angel 
to strengthen mee. The greatest Assembly, ever in this 
Countrey preach'd unto, was now come together; It may 
bee four or five thousand Souls. I could not gett unto the 
Pulpit, but by climbing over Pues and Heads: and there the 
Spirit of my dearest Lord came upon mee. I preached with 
a more than ordinary Assistence, and enlarged, and uttered 
the most awakening Things, for near two Hours together. 
My Strength and Voice failed not; but when it was near 
failing, a silent Look to Heaven strangely renew'd it. In 
the whole I found Prayer answered, and Hope exceeded, 
and Faith encouraged, and the Lord using mee, the vilest 
in all that great Assembly, to glorify Him. 

Oh! what shall I render to the Lord! 

The Sermon, I gave to the Bookseller; and annexed 
thereunto, an History of Criminals executed in this Land, 
and effectually, an Account of their dying Speeches, and of 
my own Discourses with them in their last Hours; hoping 
to warn others against Vice, by an History thus accomo- 

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28o DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

dated unto the purpose. I entitled the Book, Pillars of 
Salt.' 

26 d. 9 m. Saturday. I sett apart this Day, for the 
Exercises of a secret Fast, without any thing extraordinary 
occurring in it. 

But only there was one special Article of my Supplica- 
tions this Day, whereupon I would see some Remark, to see 
what may bee the Event thereof. 

A Ship, whereof my Brother-in-Law is Master, and 
wherein I have some considerable Interest, is hourly expected 
from England. Another Ship, that came some way in 
Company with this, arrived some Weeks ago; and some 
Circumstances occurr, which make us afraid whether all 
bee well with it, or no. Many Prayers have I of late sent 
up to Heaven, on this Occasion; and I have thought, the 
Lord may delay the coming in of the Ship, on purpose that 
by the more Prayers, I may bee the better praepar'd for 
an Harvest of Mercies in it. This Day presenting my Sup- 
plications before the Lord, on this occasion, I had my 
mind irradiated with a strange Assurance from Heaven, 
that the Ship is well, and that it will shortlj- arrive, with 
some special Tokens of the divine Favour to mee. Thus 
much I express'd on my Knees before the Lord: // will 
bee so! 

I d. 10 m. [December.] And now, Ictt mee again bring 
in my Testimonies, that Faith is no Fancy, and that there is 
a special Operation of the Holy Spirit, perhaps, not \\'ithout 
some Energy of His Holy Angels, to produce a particular 
Faith, in the Minds of those that humbly wait upon Him. 

This day, the Ship, for whose Arrival, I had pray'd 
with so much Failh, safely arri\-ed. .\nd by this Ship, 
there comes to my Hand, my Elcutherin, or. Idea of the 
Reformation, and History of Non-Conformity, published at 
London, with Circumstances, which give mee to see, a 

' rrintcd by B. ('■rcen and J. Allen, 169Q. 

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DECEMBER, 1698 281 

special Care of the Holy Angels concerning it; and I beleeve, 
it will have some notable Effects in the English Nation. 

15 J. low. T'was now a Day of Thanksgiving, cele- 
brated throughout the Province, for the Mercies of the year 
past. 

In my Sermons, urging that the Inhabitants of this 
Town, in Gratitude for the Mercies that have preserved and 
suppUed the Town, would labour more than ever, that the 
Lord may bee glorified in their Families, I found my own 
Heart more especially concerned upon this Article, relating 
to my own Family. 

But this was not all the Effect, which the Mercies of 
God have had upon mee. 

I will proceed now to relate another Matter. 

I beleeve that the God of Heaven vouchsafes, especially 
to some of His faithful Servants, a more singular Conduct 
of His Providence, with the Management, and Ministry 
of His Holy Angels. And not altogether insensible of the 
Sweetness attending such a Life, I desire to have all the 
Affairs and Motions of my Life, more than ever, imder that 
singular Condiict of Heaven. 

It is therefore necessary that besides the Gravity, and 
Sanctity, and Trustfulness, of a Conversation in Heaven, 
there bee these two Things endeavoured. 

First, I would with more Explicitness than ever, con- 
tinually spread before the Lord, the Concerns, wherein from 
Time to Time, I may want His Direction, and Assistence. 
Now, for this purpose, I find it has been a Wrong unto mee, 
that I have so much confined these Representations of my 
Concerns, unto my more stated Prayers, at the Hours con- 
stantly recurring for them. Wherefore I would, for the 
Time to come, use at any Hour of the Day when a Case, or 
a Care, offers itself imto my Thoughts to make a brief 
Supphcation to Heaven distinctly upon it. Thus I shall 
be going to Heaven continually, and have Opportunity, not 

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282 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

only to converse with the Commandments and Promises 
of God, and Righteousness of Christ, more fully on all 
Occasions; but also to have an high Respect eimobling all 
my Concerns. What an excellent way of living is this! 

But, secondly, I would more exactly and curiously 
than ever, observe what is Remarkable, in the divine Dis- 
pensations towards mee. I would observe most of all, 
what Answers of Prayer, I receive; and I would observe 
the Efiforts and Effects of a Particular Faith. And thus 
would I keep waiting upon God in Christ perpetually, and 
critically eying of Him. 

Lord, help mee ! ' 

18 d. 10 m. Lord's-Day. [No entry.] 

24 d. 10 m. Satureday. I spent this Day in the Exercise 
of a secret FAST. The Occasions, were the same that I 
have had for some former such Dayes as these. 

And my Father-in-Law, being by order of the General 
Assembly this Week sail'd unto the East-ward, on a diffi- 
cult Work, in a dangerous Time, to fetch home our Cap- 
tives in the Hands of the Indians, and see what is to bee 
done about a Peace with the Salvages, I thought it my 
Duty, to carry the Concern of his Voyage, with special 
Supplications before the Lord. 

Memorandum. This Day, as I was mentioning to the 
Lord, my Book, of. The Confirmed Christian, I received a 
strange Assurance from Heaven, that it hath been prae- 
served, and will bee published, in London, and that it shall 
bee very serviceable unto the Interests of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and that I shall quickly have the Tidings thereof. 

2 d. 11 771. [Ja7iuary.] Monday. This Day an uncomfort- 
able Thing happened in my Family. My little Daughter 
Nanny, being in my study, with her two Sisters, when I was 
not there, fell into the Fire. The right Side of her Face 

' Mather makes no mention of the request made that his father should remove 
to Cambridge, giving up his ministry in Boston. Sewall, Diary, i. 487, 493. 

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JANUARY, 1698-99 283 

especially, and her right Hand and Arm, were sorely burned 
in this Fall; and wee feared a terrible Event. Alas, for my 
Sin, the just God throwes my Child into the Fire! 

I immediately sett myself before I slept, in the Evening 
to suit my Family, with solemn Adinonitions on this Occa- 
sion: And I kept pouring out my Prayers to God, for His 
Mercies unto the Child, and the rest of the Family. 

The Friday following, (which was the first Day, I could 
easily command.) I sett apart for the Exercises of a secret 
Fast, in my Study, under this Rebuke of Heaven. On this 
Day, I hvraibled myself before the Lord, for the Sins, which 
upon strictest Examination, I thought the humbling Dis- 
pensation of Providence now upon mee, obhged mee to con- 
sider; and I hoped, the Lord has, thro' the Blood of His own 
Son, pardoned them ail. But then, I sett myself, to ciy unto 
Heaven, for the Welfare of my Children, and my whole 
Family, on all accounts; and my cries are heard, in the Holy 
Place of God. Behold, what I have obtained! 

I have this Day obtained Mercy for all my Children. 
And for the scorched Child, I have particularly obtained, that 
shee shall not only bee speedUy and happily Cured, but shee 
shall bee blessed throughout eternal Ages. God will make 
her one of His oiim Children; God will distinguish her with 
Marks of His everlasting Love. The Fire, that hath wounded 
the Child, hath added a strong Fire and Force to the Zeal 
of my Prayer for her; and God has now raised my Prayer 
for her, to this Degree of a Particular Faith in her behalf. 
If this Writing of her poor Father, ever come to bee readd 
by her, lett her give Thanks to God, that ever Hee cast her 
into a Fire, which thus enflamed the Supplications of her 
Father for her. 

But then, because nothing must befal mee, but what 
shall bee evidently serviceable unto the Interests of my 
Lord Jesus Christ, I besought the Lord, that Hee would 
show mee, what Improvement I should make of this affiict- 

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284 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

ive Providence. Hereupon I resolved, with the Help of 
Heaven, 

To grow more fruitful, in my whole Conversation with 
my Family. 

To have more of Holiness, especially in my Conversation 
with my dearest Consort: And therefore, not only to pray 
with her alone in my Study, every Salureday Evening as I 
have done hitherto, but much oflener than so. 

To preach the next Lord's Day, upon the Providence of 
God, in the smallest Actions and Accidents, as Extended 
'even to Sparrowes; and make as profitable Observations as 
I can thereupon. 

To preach ere long, on the Duties of Parents and Children, 
with more forceable Inculcations. And see, whether there 
bee nothing further that I may do, to save the Children of 
my Flock, from falling into the imquenchable Fire of the 
Wrath of God. 

This Day, I also spread such other blatters before the 
Lord as were proper Subjects for my Supplications. 

About this Time, imderstanding that the way for our 
Communication with the Spanish Indies, opens more and 
more, I sett myself to learn the Spanish Language.^ The 
Lord wonderfully prospered mee in this Undertaking; a 
few hesure Minutes in the Evening of every Day, in about 
a Fortnight, or three weeks Time, so accomphshed mee, 
I could write ven,' good Spanish. Accordingly, I composed 
a little Body of the Protestant Religion, in certain Articles, 
back'd with irresistible Sentences of Scripture. This I 
tum'd into the Spanish Tongue; and am now printing it, 

' In August of this year intelligence had reached Boston of a revolt in New 
Spain against the Spanish rule, and of the crowning of the \iceroy of Mexico as 
King; but the revolt was "a sham," Sewall, Diary, i. 484, 485. Some weeks 
later the Scotch fleet bearing the Daricn settlers reached the West Indies, and its 
success was sought by prayer and attention. Sewall wished it to be in part ful- 
filment of the latter part of the seventy-seventh Psalm, and the Company formed 
the subject of prayer in the South Church. 

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JANUARY, 1698-99 285 

with a Design to send it by all the wayes that I can, into 
the several parts of the Spanish America; as not knowing, 
how great a matter a little Fire may kindle, or, whether the 
Time for our Lord Jesus Christ to have glorious Churches 
in America, bee not at hand. The Title of my Composure 
is. La Religion Pura, En Doze palabras Fides, dignas de ser 
recebidas de Todos. 

Oh! how happy shall I bee, if the God of Heaven will 
prosper, this my poor Endeavour to glorify my Lord Jesus 
Christ. 

But these my Studies, in Conjunction with some other 
Inconveniencies, raised the Vapors of my Spleen into my 
Head. A grievous, painful, wasting Head-ache siezed mee. 
In a few Dayes, I was enfeebled with it, into deplorable 
Circumstances. I cryed, imto the Lord, that for the sake 
of what my Lord Jesus Christ endured in His Holy Head, 
I might receive some Ease of the Pains in my sinful one. 
Hee heard my cry; and by the method of Cupping, Hee 
sent mee Releef. I was disabled from going abroad on the 
Lord's-day, 22 d. 11 m. But according to my poor Strength, 
I spent part of it, at home, on my Knees, in Prayers, with 
Tears, lamenting my horrible Filthiness, Unthankfulness, 
and Unfruitfulness, and imploring pardon, thro' the Blood 
of Jesus. 

I was able, on the Wednesday following, to Discourse 
imto a great Company of Christians, at my House, above an 
Hour, on the Apostles Thorn in the Flesh; which I find some 
of the Ancients, expound of a troublesome Head-ache. 

Nevertheless, my Health is overthrown, and my Spleen 
especially so disordered, that Satan getts into it: And now 
my Mind, is horribly buffeted with Temptations, which tell 
mee, that being unable to do any further Service, and 
unworthy that God should help mee to do any, I shall fall 
into an unserviceable old-Age, before I am forty years old. 
It is impossible for mee, to e.xpress the sad Thoughts which 

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286 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

now distress mee, and confound mee, and how much I am 
unhinged with them. Lord, pitty thy poor Servant; and 
tho' I am exceedingly vile, yett, O lett mee not bee a cast 
away! 

Under these grievous Buffetings, I had no Remedy, but 
earnest Cries to Heaven. I had not Health and Strength 
enough, in my frail Body, to sett apart whole Dayes for 
Prayer with Fasting, as otherwise I would have done. But 
I took only my daily Opportunities, to plead, the Right- 
eousness of my Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered wonderful 
Temptation from Satan, without being betray'd into any 
Sin, for the pardon of all the Sin, which I discover under 
my Temptation; and for my obtaining from Heaven Assist- 
ence against all Temptation, and at length Deliverance from 
Temptation. 

Some Light, at last, began to appear imto mee; and I 
begim to consider, whether these Buffetings from Satan, 
may not bee permitted by Heaven, to annoy mee, because 
I am about a special Peece of work, whereby the Kingdome 
of Satan may receive a more than ordinary Blow; or, that 
so I may bee praepared for some special Mercy or Service 
near unto mee! 

My Public Ministry this Year has been thus managed. 

1697. 13 i. 12 w. I preached, on Isa. 53. 12. Christ numbred with 
Transgressers. 

20 d. 12 tn. I preached, on Gen. 28. 21. Choosing of the Lord for 
our God, in the Covenant oj Grace. And I administred the Eucharist 

2-j d. 12 m. I preached, on Isa. 53. 12. Christ Interceding for 
Transgressors. (My Twenty Seventh, and last Sermon, on that 
evangelical Chapter, I concluded with solemn Obtestations of my 
Neighbours, to beware of sleighting the Christ, in the Reports of the 
Gospel, thus brought unto them.) 

1698. 6d. 1 m. As a general Application, of my Discourses on the 
Gospel of Isaias, I preached, on Eph. 6. 24. The Sincere Love to the 
Lord Jesus Christ, which His Love disposes the Christian unto. 

10 d. I m. Thursday. I preach'd, on 2. Tim. 3. 5. The Power of 
Godliness, to a great Assembly, with a great Assistence. 

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JANUARY, 1698-99 287 

13 d. I m. I preach'd on, 2 Thes. 3. i. The Word of the Lord, 
so Running as to be glorified. 

1 7 d. I »n. Thursday. It was a general Fast, thro' the Province 
I preached on Isa. 43. 22. Weariness of calling on God, in them that 
are called. His People. 

20 d. I m. I preached on, Luk. 10. 16. Some, who despise the 
Lord Jesus Christ, when they little think they do so. 

27 d. I w. I began to preach on the Parable of the Sower. I 
preached on Math. 13. 3. 

^d. 2 m. I preached on Rom. 8. 13. The Gospel Mystery of 
Mortification: which I saw, much neglected, and little understood. 

•J d. 2 m. Thursday. I preached on i. Sam. 7. 12. and in a vast 
Assembly, with a great Assistence, I erected the Ebenezers of Boston. 

10 d. 2 m. I preached, on Math. 13. 4. The Seed falling on the 
high-way Ground. 

17 d.2m. I began to preach on the Song of Simeon, Luk. 2. 29. 
And I administered the Eucharist. 

24 d. 2 m. I preached, on Math, 13. 5. 6. The stony Ground. 

id. 2,m. I preached, on Tit. 2. 10 Adorning the Doctrine of 
God our Saviour, because, I saw many Professors of the Doctrine did 
not so. 

S (i. 3 »M. Thursday. At the Lecture, I discoursed, on 2. Pet. 2. 2. 
The Way of Truth, by reason of some Evil spoken of: because I saw 
many Occasions taken for its being so. 

8 d. 3 »i. I preached, on Math. 13. 7. The thorny Ground. 

15 d. ^m. I preached, on Psal. 141. 5. The christian Way of 
receiving Reproofs, (of all sorts :) because I saw it much neglected. 

ijd.^m. Tuesday. I preached, the Lecture at Roxbury. On 
Math. 13. 3. A Sower going forth to sow. Their late sowing Time, 
rendred it agreeable. 

22 d. ^m. I preached, on Hos. 9. 15. Being driven out of tlie 
House of God, for Wickedness. On occasion of a Censure passed then 
in the Church. 

29 d. T,m. I preached, on, i. Cor. 6. 9. Bee not deceived: What 
are the usual Deceits imposed on men, in the matters of eternal Happi- 
ness. 

2 i. 4 w. Thursday. At the Lecture, (the General Assembly sit- 
ting) I discoursed, on Exod. 3. 2. The burning Bush not consumed. 

Sd. 4 m. I preached, on Math. 13. 8. The good Ground. 

12 d. 4 m. I preached, on Rev. 3. i. Having a Name to live, and 
yett being dead: Because I saw horrible Instances of Hypocrisy dis- 
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288 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

covered in diverse members of our Church; (and this Day, I solemnly 
foretold the Discovery of more.) 

19 d. 4 m. I preached, on Rom. 4. 20. A strong Faith. 

26 d. ^m. I preached, on Phil. 3. 19. Earthly-mindedness; which 
I fear'd, would bee the Ruine of a great Part of my Hearers, and now 
I solemnly warned them of it. 

2,0 d. i\m. Thursday. I preached, on Num. 25. 11. Zealous 
Phinehas; to sett an Edge upon the late Proclamations, about Refor- 
mation. 

2d. $m. I preached, on Rom. 8. 6. Spiritual- Mindedness, in 
opposition to the Eartfdy-miTtdedness, condemned this day se'imight. 

iod.$m. I preached, on Num. 12. 14. Lepers, to bee shutt 
out of the Camp. (And I administered the Eucharist.) In the 
Afternoon, a Censure was pass'd in the Church. 

ijd.sm. I began to preach on the eleventh Chapter to the 
Hebrew's; a rich Portion of Scripture; designing with the Leave and 
Help of Heaven, to proceed upon it. 

24 (f. 5 w. I preached, the second Time, on Heb. 11. i. with 
special Assistences of Heaven. 

28. d. 5 m. Thursday. I preached at the Lecture on Col. 3. 5. 
Mortification, the evangelical ^Mysterj' and Method of it; which I see 
too generally, neither understood, nor practised. 

31 d. $m. I preached on Heb. 11. 2. Faith obtaining a good 
Report. 

■J d.6m. I preached, on Math. 10. 16. The Wisdome of the 
Serpent, and the Goodness of the Do\-e, united. 

i4d. 6 m. I preached, on Heb. 11. 3. Faith exercised about 
the Creation of the World. 

2id.6m. I preached unto our young People, a Sermon, on 
Jer. 3. 4. Persons in their Youth, making choice of God, as their 
Father, and the Guide of their Youth. 

1$ d. 6 m. Thursday I endeavoured, upon the Encouragement 
which I read for my Text, in Ps. 107. 43. Who is wise, and will 
observe these things f to offer unto the Public, my Observation of the 
Remarkables that have occurr'd in our late and long Indian War, and 
make some due Improvements of them. 

29 d. 6 m. In the Forenoon, I preached at the South Church in 
Boston, on Jer. 3. 4. In the Afternoon at my North-Church, a 
second Time, on the same Text, — a Call to Youth. 

4 (i. 7 m. I preached on Luk. 2. 29. Departing in Peace. And 
Administred the Eucharist. 

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FEBRUARY, 1698-99 289 

Sd. "J m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture at Ipswich. On 
2 Tun. 3. 5. The Power of Godliness. 

II d. 1 m. I preached at Salem, A. M. especially to Old People, 
on Luk. 2. 29. P. M. Especially to Young People, on Jer. 3. 4. 

18 d. J m. I preached on, Exod. 23. 2. An Antidote against the 
Contagion of Sin, from the Exemple of a Multitude. 

22 d. y m. Thursday. I concluded at the Lecture, what I began 
a Month ago. 

2$d.'jm. I preached on Heb. 11. 4. Faith making a more 
excellent Sacrifice. 

28 d. 7 m. Wednesday. ■ I preached the Lecture at Reading, on 
Rom. 8. 6. Spiritual-mindedness. 

2d. 8 m. I preached on Psal. 37. 25. The Provision of Bread 
made for the Righteous, in the wonderful Providence of God. 

(Fearing lest the frequent Losses befalling our Neighbours, might 
make the Fear of Want, prove a sore Temptation unto them.) 

gd.Sm. I preached on, Heb. 11. 4. Faith making us righteous, 
and obtaining a Witness of our being so. 

16 d. 8 tn. I preached, on Psal. 31. 14. Describing and offering 
the Covenant of Grace, unto my Neighbours, and earnestly bespeaking 
their Consent imto every Article of it, and instructing them how to 
give it. 

20 d. 8 m. Thursday. Because, I foresaw, that before my ne.\t 
Lecture, the whole Countrey would bee entertained with a tragical 
Instance of a young Woman who was to come upon her Trial the next 
week, for murdering her Base-born child, I now began to discourse, 
on Rom. i. 28. Handling the Case, of God's Punishing Men for some 
Sins, by leaving them to more. Intending a Month hence, if the Lord 
please, to finish what I now began, and make the sad Exemple before 
the Countrey, particularly subservient unto my Designs. 

23 d.8m. I preached on Heb. 11. 4. God first Accepting the 
Person and then the Offring. And dead Abel speaking. 

30 d. 8 m. I preached on, Luk. 2. 30. Christ the Salvation of 
God; the Blessedness of seeing Him. And I administered the Eu- 
charist. 

6d.gm. I preached on Heb. 11. 5. A blessed State in a better 
World. 

13 d.gm. I preached, on Gen. 20. 6. The Mercy of being 
withheld from Sin. Upon tragical Instances of some undone, by fall- 
ing into Sin. 

IT d.gm. Thursday. The Lecture was held at the South-Meet- 
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290 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

ing house. I concluded my Discourse on Rom. i. 28. to a more than 
ordinary Assembly, with a more than ordinary Assistence. After the 
Sermon, was the miserable young Woman, executed. 

20 d.gtn. I preached on Hcb. 11.5. Pleasing of God, by walk- 
ing with Him. 

27 (f. 9 >». I preached on Eph. 4. 28. Against the Sin of Steal- 
ing; the Time of the year, now advancing, when that Sin is more 
frequently committed, by the poor, in the Town. 

29 d. 9 m. Tuesday. I preached, the Lecture at Roxbury, on 
Math. 13. 8. The good Groutid bringing forth Fruil. I promised 
them, to do this, when their Harvest should bee ingathered. (Look 
back to, 1"] d. i m.) 

4(f. lom. I preached, on, Heb. 11. 6. The Impossibility oi 
pleasing God without Faith. 

lid. 10m. I preached, on Rom. 2. 4. The Goodness of God, 
leading to Repentance. 

IS d. 10 m. Thursday. And, on a public Thanksgiving, the 
Thursday following, for the Mercies of the year past, I from hence, 
made a Recapitulation, of the Favours which the Di\ine Goodtiess 
had been showing to this Town and Land; adding upon each Article, 
what wee should bee thereby led unto. 

18 d. 10 m. I preached, on Heb. 11. 6. Faith coming to God. 

25 <f. 10 m. I preached on Luke. 2. 31. Christ prcepared before 
all People, And I administered the Eucharist. 

I d. II m. I preach'd on Heb. 11. 6. Faith apprehending the 
Existence of God. 

8d. II m. I preach'd on Math. 10. 29. The Providence of God 
extended unto the smallest Accidents. (The Occasion is mendon'd, 
on 2 J. II m.) 

12 d. II m. Thursday. I preach'd on Joh. 21. 17. Love to Christ. 

i$d. II m. I preached on, Heb. 11. 6. Faith apprehending of 
God as a Rewarder. 

2gd. II m. I preached on Heb. 11. 7. Faith minding the Warn- 
ings of the Threatnings. 

5 (/. 12 m. I preached on Heb. 11. 7. Faith getting into the Ark. 

gd. 12 m. Thursday. I preached, on Mar. 8. 38. Being asltamcd 
of Christ. (Because I saw much Occasion for such Admonition.) ' 

^"()d.i3m.[February, 1698.] The Brethren of the Church mett, and by 
their \'ote aRrced: 

"That wh.ilcvor the Deacons find neccssar\' to be disbursed for obtaining the 
quiet Possession of the Land on which our Meeting-house is lately enlarged, and 

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FEBRUARY, 1698-99 29I 

answering the Claims of the Widow Moore unto it, bee by them disbursed out of the 
Churches Treasury. 

"That Mr. Foster, Mr. Wintkrop, Mr. Middlecot, and Mr. Howard, with the 
Deacons of the Church, do repair unto the Heirs of Major Clark, and endeavour to 
obtain from them a final Acquittance to the Church, from all their pretensions of 
any Privilege, in any Part of the Land aforesaid. And that the Churches Treasury 
shall defray that Expence also, provided it exceed not twenty five pounds. 

"Finally, that the Salary of the present Pastor shall bee three pounds pet 
Week. And that the Deacons out of the Churches Treasury furnish the Families 
of both Teacher and Pastor with Fuel as there is Occasion." Cotton Mather's MS. 
Records of the Second Church, n. 



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1699 

THE XXXVIlTH YEAR. 

Fastings were so frequent among the Christians in the 
primitive Times, that it was to bee discovered in their 
Joints and Faces; Pallidi, and Trepidi, were the oppro- 
brious Names, which for this Reason the Heathen gave 
imto them. 

THE XXXMlTH YEAR OF MY AGE. 

12 d. 12 m. [February ]i6g^. Lord's-Day. Lord! lam 
astonished, I am astonished, at that wonderful ^Ierc\- of 
Heaven, that has upheld an unfruitful Wretch, now for 
thirty six years together! 

My Birth-day now falls out on a Lord's-day. I may 
not alienate this Day, from the Celebration of my Lord- 
Redeemer's New-Birth, for which Hee hath sanctified it. 
And yett, besides my Endeavours the last Evening, to 
obtain a Pardon for the Sins of the year past, and render 
Thanks for the Mercies of the Year, and pray for a Bless- 
ing on the next, I thought I might improve the Sense of 
my Circumstances this Day, to quicken my Apprehensions 
of the Need which I have of such a Lord-Redeemer. 

Wlierefore I chose this Day to preach upon those Words, 
Luk. 18. 13. God bee merciful to nice a Sinner. I thought, 
I would in the ensuing Evening endeavour to call over the 
special Dispensations of the Divine Providence towards 
mec, and write, Mercy to a Sinner upon them all. I thought, 
I would consider what Conditions I had passed through, 

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FEBRUARY, 1698-99 293 

what Relations I had sustained, what Employmenls I had 
managed, and cry, God bee merciful to mee a Sinner, upon 
the View of my jSIiscamages in all of them. And now, for 
the rest of this Year, God bee merciful to mee a Sinner! 

ij d. 12 ?n. I sett apart this Day, for the Exercises of 
a secret Fast in m}' Study; to obtain the Pardon of my Sins, 
and a sweet Releef against the Temptations that sometimes 
darken and bufdt my Mind; and a great Measure of Grace, 
by which I ma}^ bee prepared for all the Trials, and Changes, 
that may bee before mee; and the manifold Smile of God 
upon mee, in my Ministry and in my Family, and in the 
many special Services which I am contriving and attempting 
to do, for the dear Name of my Lord Jesus Christ; particu- 
larly, that of sending the Light of the reformed ReUgion 
into the Spanish Indies. 

The Day was not altogether uncomfortably spent. 

22 d. 12 m. Wednesday. This Day, besides abundance of 
other Work, I composed three Sermons, and preached one 
of them. I not only prepared a Sermon for the Lecture, 
on the morrow, when also I enjoy'd a most comfortable 
Presence of the Lord with mee, in the Great Assembly; 
but also I prepared a Sermon for a private Meeting, to 
bee this Evening attended. Now, just before my going 
to the private Meeting, a terrible Thing happened in my 
Family. For my Daughter Katy, going into the Cellar 
with a Candle, her musslin Ornaments, about her Shoulders 
took Fire from it, and so blazed up as to sett her Head-gear 
likewise on Fire. By the wonderful and merciful Provi- 
dence of God her Shriek for Help was heard; and by that 
Help the Fire was extinguished. The Child's Life was 
preserved; and her Head, and her Face, tho' in the midst 
of horrible Flames. But yett her Neck and her Hand 
were horribly burnt, and shee was thrown into Exquisite 
Misery. This Disaster befalling my eldest Daughter, soon 
after that my youngest had suffered the like Disaster, it 

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294 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

threw mee, into extreme Distress. And this Distress caus- 
ing mee to lay aside the Discourse, I had intended for the 
Meeting, I did, with much Influence from Heaven on my 
Mind, at the sudden compose and utter unto the Meeting, 
a Discourse, for above an Hour, from Lam. 5. 13' on that 
Case, What use ought Parents to make of Disasters befalling 
their Children. 

My Child fell into a Feavour, and her Neck obliged her 
to so wry a Posture of her Head, that I was in grievous Dis- 
tress, whether shee would live, or, whether, if shee did live, 
there would not bee some visible Mark of the Stroke of the 
Wrath of the Lord, always upon her. I cryed unto the Lord 
for the Child, in this my Distress; and I obtained Assurance 
from Heaven that the Child should not only bee shortly 
and safely cured of her Burning, but that God would make 
this very Burning, to bee the Occasion of her being brought 
more effectually than ever. Home unto EUmself, and His 
Christ. Oh! blessed Affliction, that shall prove the Salva- 
tion of my Child! // shall bee so; It shall bee sol Lord, 
How much ought I to love Thee, when thou dost rebuke 
and chasten meet 

But one Affliction must not come alone. My Wife's 
Mother, took her Bed, very sick of a Feavour, that Night, 
that my Daughter was thus grievously scorched. Shee dyed, 
on the Friday Night, about ten o'clock.' Now, I count it a 
singular Favour of God unto mcc, (and it might bee so unto 
her!) that tho' shee were delirious the first Night of her Ill- 
ness, yett shee had the free Use of Reason, all the rest of 
her little Time. And hereby, I enjoy 'd an Opportunity for 
two Daycs together, to talk with her, and pray with her, and 
do all that it was possible for mee to do, in assisting her, 

' "They took the younR men to grind, and the children fell under the wood." 

'She was buried Thursday. March 2. "Mr. Danforth, Major Gcn'I Winthrop, 

RusscI, Cook, Elisha Hutchinson, Kcwlcr, Bearers. I think all the Council had 

rIovcs sent, and Rings there. Lt. ("Dvr was not there. . . . Gov'r Winthrop was 

at the I'uncral." Scwall, Diary, I. 492. 

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CO. A mj a. , luyo — 99 295 

about the great Ads of resigning her Spirit unto the Lord. 
Shee was a pious Woman, and one full of Prayers and Alms; 
and tho' shee were of a very fearful Temper, and was par- 
ticularly in her Life-Time under some slavish Fear of Death, 
yett as her Death approached, shee comfortably gott over it. 
26 d. 12 m. Lords-Day. I had not made haste enough, 
it may bee, in performing my Resolutions, upon the Falling 
of my Uttle Daughter Nanny into the Fire, to do some 
special Thing, for the exciting and assisting of Parents, 
unto their Duty, about the Salvation of their Children from 
the Fire of the Wrath of God. And I cannot, but now 
take notice of it, that this Day, which is the next Lord's- 
day, after the second burning Stroke my Family, I am in 
my course of Preaching on the eleventh Chapter to the 
Hebrews, necessarily led tmto it. My Text this Day is 
that, in Heb. ii. 7. For the Saving of his House; and so, I 
insist on, what Parents are to do for the Salvation of their 
Children; intending the next Lord's-Day to insist on the 
Duties of Children towards their Parents. 

1699. 

4 (f. 1 m. [March.] Satureday. Under the Changes and 
Sorrowes, befalling of my Family, and imder the various 
Labours, Designs, and Concerns of my Ministry, I thought it 
my Duty, to bee again employ'd in the Exercises of a secret 
Fast, before the Lord. The Occasions for my being thus 
employ'd are legible in the foregoing Pages. And while I 
was thus employ'd, I enjoy'd comfortable Communications 
from Heaven that recompenced all the Fatigues of it. 

The following Week, was a Week of much pain to mee, 
with my old Malady in my Jaw, and Head. But God 
sanctified it unto mee, to produce in mee those Thoughts 
and Frames, that were worth all my Pain. I am sorry that 
I have no more Time to write more largely of it. 

About this Time, I sett myself to draw up, a compleat 

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296 DIARY OF COTT ON M A T H E K 

System of the Christian Religion. I comprized it in twenty 
four Articles; a sacred Number of Articles. And because 
much objection has been made against Creeds of an humane 
Composure, that this might bee liable to no Objection, I 
contrived every one of the Articles, to bee expressed in the 
express words of the sacred Scripture. When this was done, 
I tum'd it into the Spanish Tongue, and printed it, (along 
with my. La Religion Pura) under the Title of. La Fe del 
Christiano.' 

My Design is, to attempt the Service of my Lord Jesus 
Christ, by casting this Treatise, into the midst of the Spanish 
Indies. And I employ constant Prayers upon this my 
Design, that it may bee favoured by my Lord Jesus Christ, 
and that my dear Lord Jesus Christ may thereby bee 
glorified. 

18 d. I m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, as I did this 
Day fortnight, for the Exercises of a Day of Prayer in my 
Study, and on the like Occasions. 

Nothing remarkable occurr'd in it. 

In the following Week; namely, on 23 d. i m. a. public 
Fast, was attended, throughout the Province and God 
graciously carried mee thro' the Duties of that also. 

6d. 2 m. [April.] Thursday. In pursuance of my Inten- 
tions to do all possible Service for the Children, in the 
Families of my Neighbours, I this day preached, a Ser- 
mon to the Parents, with a great Assistance of Hea\en, 
in a great Assembly of People, at our £o.y/oM-Lecture: 
hoping this Day month to proceed unto a Sermon for the 
Children.'^ 

And, behold, as I come out of the Meeting-house, the 
Book-sellers come to mee, entreating that they may have 
a Copy of these two Sermons, when the next shall bee 

' This is probably ihe " Spanish sheet," the printing of which Sewall mentions 
on April lo. Diary, i. 495. 
' Sec p. 302, infra. 

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APRIL, 1699 297 

delivered, for to bee published unto the Countrey. Thus 
mercifully and wonderfully does my Lord Jesus Christ, 
continue to employ mee the vilest of Men, in precious 
Opportunities of serving Him! 

It may not bee amiss for mee to mention in this Place, 
that yesterday I preached a Sermon, with some very par- 
ticular Circumstances. 

A good woman in our Neighbourhood, has languished 
miserably for diverse Years, and stiffered many things of 
many Physicians, and is nothing bettered, but rather growes 
worse. Her Husband, apprehending her, not far from 
Death, prevailed with some Christians, to keep this as a 
Day of Prayer with Fasting for her. I spent part of the 
Forenoon with them; and as I was drawing towards the 
Close of my prayer, I thought with myself, the Word should 
go with Prayer. When the Prayer was ended, I called for 
a Bible, intending to look out some agreeable Scripture, for 
the present Occasion. And behold, the very first Place, 
which in the opened Bible, I look'd upon, was that in Mar. 
5. 25. A certain Woman had suffered many Things of many 
Physicians, and ivas nothing bettered, but rather grav worse; 
when shee heard of Jesus, shee came, and touched His Gar- 
ment; and sftee felt in her Body, that shee was healed. I 
wondred at the Pertinency of the Place, and preached a 
Sermon upon it. 

The woman, to the surprize of us aU, recovered so that 
shee came abroad into the Congregation, to give Thanks, 
for the wondrous Works of God.' 

gd. 2 m. Lords-Day. I am inclinable here to insert an 
Experiment, which I have had this Lord's-Day and the Last, 
(and on many others.) 

I was this Lord's-day, to preach on Renouncing our own 
Righteousness, and repairing to, and beleeving in, the Right- 
eousness of Christ. As I was on my Knees in my Study, 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. 

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298 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

before my going forth to preach, imploring, as always the 
Help of Heaven, I bad that Scripture darted into my Mind, 
Psal. 71. 16. / imll go in the Strength of the Lord God; I 
will make Mention of thy Righteousness, even of thine only. 
Hereupon, I thought, that Ministers, when they go to 
preach on that great Point of the Gospel, A sinners being 
justified by the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
even by that only, they might expect for to go in the Strength 
of the Lord God, and enjoy singular Assistences from on 
High. I was verily perswaded, I should find it so; and in 
a vast Congregation I did this day find it so; and I have 
several Times found it so. 

Indeed, in my poor Life, notable Experiences have been 
multipHed. But, I am so slothful, and so feeble, and my 
other Employments are so multiplied, that I foolishly have 
omitted the recording of them. 

This Week, I attempted a further service to the Name 
of my Lord Jesus Christ. I considered, that when the 
Evangehcal Elias, was to prepare the Jewish Nation, for 
the coming of the Messiah, hee was to do it, by, bringing 
down the Heart of the Fathers upon the Children. .\nd I 
considered, that it would not only confirm us Christians in 
our Faith exceedingly to see every Article of it, asserted in 
the express Words of the Old Tcstamait, but that it would 
mightily con\'ince, and confound the Jrwish Nation. Yea, 
who knowes, what Use the Lord may make of such an 
Essay? WTierefore, with much Contrivance, I drew up a 
Catechism of the whole Christian Religion, and contrived 
the Questions to fitt the Answers, whereof I brought even*' 
one out of the Old Testament. I prefaced the Catechism, 
with an Address unto the Jewish Nation, telling them in 
some lively Terms, That if they would but Return to the 
Faith of the Old Testament, and beleeve with their own 
ancient and blessed Patriarclis, this was all that wee desired 
of them or for them. I gave this Book to the Printer, and 

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APRIL, 1699 299 

it was immediately published. Its Title is, The Faith of 
THE Fathers.' 

14 d. 2 m. Friday. Setting apart this Day, for Prayer, 
with Fasting, in my Study, I obtained the Mercies of the 
Lord. 

The Pardon of Sin, with a Title to Life, was assured unto 
mee, thro' the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, appre- 
hended by my Faith. 

One special Exercise of the Day was this. I considered, 
that the Christian Religion is a Doctrine of Godliness. Where- 
fore I went over the several Articles, in my La Fe del Chris- 
tiana, in my Meditations; and examined my want of Con- 
formity to it, in Godliness both of Heart and Life; and 
judged myself before the Lord. 

The special Petitions presented unto God this Day were 
much the Same, that I have had, on such dayes, which I 
have of late observed. 

16 d. 2 m. Lord's-Day. At the Lord's Table, I recei\ed 
Assurance from Heaven, that I had greater Services to do 
for my Lord Jesus Christ, than any that I have already 
done. 

After the other public Services of the Day were over, I 
visited the Prison. A great Number of Pyrates being there 
committed, besides other Malefactors, I went and pray'd 
with them, and preach'd to them. The Text, in which the 
Lord helped mee to Discourse, was Jer. 2. 26. The Thief is 
ashamed, when hee is found. I hope, I shall have some good 
Fruit of these Endeavours. 

28 d. 2 m. Friday. This Day I sett apart for secret 
Prayer, with Fasting to carry unto Heaven such Matters, 
as those that occasioned other Dayes, that I have of late 
so sett apart. 

One special Petition, that I had now to bring unto the 
Lord, was, for His Presence with mee, in my Lecture the 

' It was printed by B. Green and J. Allen. 

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300 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

next Week. Ill-ness on my Eldest Daughter was likewise 
one of my Errands to Heaven. Scandal reported of one 
in our Communion was also one Occasion for mee to humble 
myself. 

The X'oyage of my Father Philips, gone this week, on a 
public Negotiation, with the Indians of the East, was a very 
special Subject of my Supplications. 

One of my Exercises this Day, was, to take, my Faith 
of the Fathers; and with Meditation on every Article, form 
from it, some agreeable Confession or Petition before the 
Lord. 

And whereas, I have now for diverse Years, employ'd 
much Prayer for, and some Discourse with, an infidel Jew 
in this Town; thro' a Desire to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ 
in the Conversion of that Infidel, if Hee please to accept 
mee in that Service. I this day renew'd my Request unto 
Heaven for it. And writing a short Letter to the Jew, 
wherein I enclosed my, Faith of tlie Fatliers, and, La Fe del 
Christiana, I sent it unto him. 

2 d. T,m. [May] There is printing a new Edition of our 
Psalm-book. In every former Edition, that excellent Portion 
of Scripture, the 36TH Chapter of Isali^, was in such a 
metre, that few of our Churches could sing it. \\Tierefore 
I this day, took a few Minutes, to turn it into another 
Metre, with perhaps, a smoother and sweeter \'ersion. So 
tis published in the Psalm book; ' and, tho' this were but a 
small Action, yett I felt a great Comfort, when I thought, 
that the Praises of God, would bee the more sung throughout 
this Wilderness, for any of my poor Endeavours. 

Lett*iee now also insert in this Place, an Encourage- 
ment that Heaven has given to my Prayers. I am this 
day advised, that my Friend FJias Ncan, (whose condition 
is mentioned in these papers, 21 d. 8 m. 1697.) is, by means 

' The ninth edition of the Psalm Book appeared in i6g8, so tliis poem 
probably was included in the tenth edition, issued in 170J. 

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M AY , 1699 301 

of the English Embassador wonderfully delivered out of 
his Captivity.' 

4 (f . 3 m. Thursday. Being this Day, to address the 
Children and Servants of the Town, with an agreeable Ser- 
mon, an extraordinary Storm came up, the Night before, 
which threatned to disappoint mee of my expected Audi- 
tory. In the Morning the Storm continued; but with a 
sweet Satisfaction of Mind, I left the Weather in the Hands 
of my Lord Jesus Christ; beleeving that Hee is the Lord 
of it, and that Hee would compose the Tempest, and send 
a vast Assembly this Day to hear His Word, and by His 
Holy Spirit coming on mee in the vast Assembly assist 
mee to glorify Him exceedingly. Every Point of this my 
Expectation wonderfully came to pass. But in my public 
Labours, my Fervours carried mee somewhat beyond my 
Strength, which occasioned some humbling (and needful) 
Illness for some following Dayes, to afflict mee. 

13 d. 3 m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, for the 
Exercises of a secret Fast, on such Occasions, as ha\e here- 
tofore putt mee on the like Exercises: and especially, to 
obtain of the Lord, the Wisdome, whereby I may take 
right steps, imder all the Changes that are quickly coming 
on the Countrey, and all the Trials that may bee encountred, 
in our Churches. 

In the Close of the Day, the Lord, sweetly irradiated my 
Mind, with Assurances, that Hee would possess mee with 
His good Spirit, and employ mee in great Service for Him. 

21 rf. 3 w. Lord's-day. At noon, in my Study this Day, 
when I had been turning the forty-fourth Psalm, into Cries 
to Heaven, for the French Flocks, now languishing under 
horrible Persecutions, I did with Tears receive a strange 
Assurance, from Heaven; that France will quickly undergo 
a wonderful Revolution. 

But this was not all; for I had Advice from Heaven, 

' A line which follows is blotted out. See p. 238, supra. 

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302 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

that a glorious Reformation is near to the English Nation. 
And more than so ; that the Light of the Gospel of my Lord 
Jesus Christ, shall bee carried into the Spanish Indies; and, 
that my Composures, my Endeavoures, will bee used, in 
irradiating the Dark Recesses of America, with the Knowl- 
edge of the Glorious Lord. Yea, more than this; That I 
shall shortly see some Harvest of my Prayers and Pains, 
for the Jewish Nation also. 

About this Time, I gave unto the Booksellers, my two 
Lectures, upon, the Duties of Parents unto their Children, 
and, the Duties of Children unto tlieir Parents. The little 
Book, is I perceive much desired. I entitled it, A Family 
WELL ordered; or An Essay to render Parents and Children 
happy in one another. The God of Heaven, prosper it. 

I (f. 4 w. [June.] This Day besides other Services, which 
I endeavoured for the Churches, among the Elders, now 
assembled from all Parts of the Province, they concurred 
in an Address to the Govemour, the Earl of Bellomont, who 
arrived the last week among us. This Address was wholly of 
my composing; and I composed it, with as charming an Arti- 
fice and Contrivance, as I could use, to suit the Ends of it. 

The Ministers of the Province, waiting upon him, in a 
Body together, my Father, after a short Speech dehvered 
the Address. The Govemour immediately gave it back 
into my Hand; asking mee to read it unto him. Which 
being done, I again delivered it into his Hand; and hee 
made a very generous and obliging speech upon it. 

The Address was then published unto the World.' 

This, and a Representation made from the Ministers, to 
the General Assembly, to revi\e the Care of Schools in the 
Countrey; was the most of the Service, that my Barren 
Soul, did in the Convention of Ministers, at this Oppor- 
tunity. 

' It was dated May 31. A copy is in the Massachusetts Historical Society. 
Printed by B. Green and J. Allen. 

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J U N E , I 6 9 9 303 

I am siezed with a certain Slothfulness of Spirit, for 
several Dayes of late. I lett whole Hours pass mee, with- 
out Essayes to do any Service for the Lord Jesus Christ 
in those Hours. My usual Activity, in Endeavours to fill 
my Time with Service to the Lord of my Time, is very 
sensibly abated, A certain Anguish falls upon my Soul, 
in the Observation of this my slothful Indisposition; and 
makes mee beleeve, that I am near to some Affliction. 

Mark the Issue ! 

7 (/. 4 m. Wednesday. And shall I so suddenly have 
Occasion to mark it! This Day my pretty Little Daughter 
Nanny, was taken with a terrible Convulsion; and the Con- 
vulsion was follow'd with a violent Feaver. 

^ly Soul was many wayes wounded, with the deplorable 
State, which this little Bird, that had ahead}- undergone so 
much Calamity, was again fallen into. 

On the morning after the Child was taken sick, it occurr'd 
in the Course of our Family -Devotions, to read the last 
Chapter of Job. And there finding that Job had three 
Daughters of eminent QuaUties, in the room of three more, 
which were dead; I, who had buried three Daughters, could 
not but cry to the Lord, that Hee would give mee a Bless- 
ing in the three which I had now living with mee. While 
I was pleading with the Lord, for His Favour in this matter, 
I declared unto Him, that if my sick Daughter, should not 
live in the Service, and for the Honour, of my Lord Jesus 
Christ, I would not ask for her Life. But my Soul was 
immediately and inexpressibly hereupon, irradiated with a 
Faith from Heaven, that the Child should live. 

God helped mee, to follow Him with importunate Sup- 
plications, on this Occasion. I wrestled with the God of 
Jacob, for my threatened Family, as once Jacob did for 
his. Yea, when the Satureday arrived, I sett apart the whole 
Day, to do this, with Prayer and Fasting; as well as to 
obtain the Smiles of God, on my Soul, my Work, the Land, 

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304 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

and His whole People; and bewayl the Scandals whereinto 
more of my Flock are fallen, and prevent the Wrath of 
Heaven against mee, for their Scandals. 

Being moreover sollicitous, that no Afflictions may befall 
mee, but such as may afford some Revenues of Glory unto 
my Lord Jesus Christ, I sett myself particularly to consider, 
what special Duties, the Condition of my Child should 
awaken mee unto. 

I purposed, that I would grow yett more fruitful in my 
Conversation, with my little Birds, and feed them with 
more frequent and charming Lessons, of Religion. 

That I would more concern myself to promote Schools 
for Children, in my Neighbourhood. And what if I should 
visit aU the Schools; and endeavour to speak such things 
both to the Teachers and the Scholars, as they may all bee 
the better for! 

That I would quicken my pastoral Visits, to the Families 
of my Neighbours; and scatter among the Families, my 
little Book, of a Family well-ordered. 

That I would shortly write a Uttle Book, which my 
Kinsman shall Translate into the Indian Tongue, to make 
the Knowledge of Christ, and Christianity, more effectu- 
ally apprehended among the Indians, and their Children. 

Lord, pitty mee, assist mee, accept mee! 

The sickness of the Child proceeded, after I had written 
these Things, unto a very great Extremity. One Morn- 
ing, when I was in distress about this Matter, taking up 
the Bible, to read in Course, before our Family-prayers, the 
Bible first opened at the Story, of Children blessed by the 
Hand of the Lord Jesus Christ putt upon them, when 
brought unto Him. (Mar. 10. 13-16.) I therefore took 
that Paragraph, and read it, and pray'd over it. And it 
was again assured mee, that the Child shotdd live. 

Notwithstanding all this; the Sickness of the Child grew 
so very extreme, that on Wednesday Night, there was little, 

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JUNE, I 699 30s 

if any Hope of its Life left, and the Physician himself began 
to despair. 

Wherefore, being in Distress, lest my Particular Faith, 
should prove but a Fancy, and a Folly, and End in Confu- 
sion, I sett apart the Day following, (which was Thursday, 
15 d. 4 m.) for the Exercises of Prayer with Fasting, in my 
Study, as well for the same Intentions, that I kept the Last 
Satureday, as more especially to obtain Mercies for my 
Family, and my little Daughter, and my Consort now near 
her Time. 

Now, behold the Effect of Prayer and Faith! On this 
very day, the Child began to recover. A sensible and mar- 
vellous Change this day came upon the Child; and from 
this very Time, its Recovery went on most comfortably. 

God has ordered this Matter, for my Encouragement, 
about several greater Points of my Particular Faith, not 
yett accomplished. 

But on this Day of my Supplications, I had a further 
Communication from Heaven, of a wonderful importance! 

The General Court has diverse Times of late years, had 
under Consideration, the matter of the settlement of the 
CoUedge, which was like still to issue in a Voyage of my 
Father to England: And the matter is now again considered. 
I have made much Prayer about it, many and many a Time: 
Nevertheless, I never could have my mind raised unto any 
Particular Faith about itj one way or another. But this 
Day, as I was, (may I not say?) in the Spirit, it was in a 
powerful Manner assured mee from Heaven, that my Father 
shall one Day be carried into England: and that he shall 
there glorify the Lord Jesus Christ: and that the Particular 
Faith which had introduced it, shall be at last made a matter 
of wonderful Glory and Service unto the Lord. 

And thou, Mather the Younger, shalt live to see this 
accomplished. 

And thy Son too shall glorify the Lord Jesus Christ on 

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306 DIARY OF COTTON UATHER 

Earth, after thou also hast follow'd thy Father into the 
Kingdome of God! 

The Lord having restored my Child, I thought, what 
further special Service to do for His Name, on that Occasion. 
The Result of my Thoughts was, that observing a great and 
sad want of Schools, for the Education of Children thro' 
the Countrey, I added at the End of my Book of, A well- 
ordered Family, just now coming out of the Press, as pungent 
a Discourse, as I could in so few pages, to excite in the 
Countrey a sense of that Want, and a Zeal for the erecting 
of schools in all our Towns. I entitled it. An Address, ad 
Fratres in Eremo. 

Moreover, I thought of a further Service to bee done 
for the Churches of my Lord Jesus Christ. The Ministers 
of Boston, and the Towns adjacent have had their stated 
Meetings in the Library of Harvard-Colledge, at Cambridge. 
At these Meetings, many important Cases have been dis- 
coursed on. The voted Results of the Discourses, were still 
of my drawing up. These Results I now procured to bee 
transcribed: And prefixed a Preface, wherein I quicken 
the Ministers in other Parts of the Countrey, to the like 
Associations. By the Publication of this Book, with the 
Consent of the Ministers concerned, I now hope, abundance 
of Service may bee done to all the Churches. This Book, I 
now gave unto the Booksellers, entituled. Thirty Impor- 
tant Cases.' 

And tho' it go under the Name of all the associated 
Ministers, yett I think, I may humbly pretend to bee the 
real Author of it; all, but two or three Pages of it, being 
mine. 

While thus I am serving the House of my Lord Jesus 
Christ, I again and again find Him saving of mine. 

On 8 (f. s m. [July,] my Consort having the Symptomes 
of her approaching Travail upon her, I sett apart this Day 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Alien. 

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JULY, 1 6 99 . 307 

for Prayer with Fasting, in my Study, that I might obtain 
Mercy for my Family, and my Ministry. 

In the Evening of this Day, near eleven a Clock, my 
Consort fell into her Travail. Just before this, the Text with 
a Meditation whereon I chose to entertain my Family at our 
Evening Prayers, was that in Joh. 16.21. A woman, when shee 
is in Travail, hath Sorrow, because her Hour is come; but as 
soon as shee is delivered of the Child, shee remembreth no more 
the Anguish, for Joy that a Man is born into the World. 

After I had commended my Consort vmto the Lord, I 
laid mee down to sleep, after Midnight that I might bee 
fitt for the Services of the Day ensuing. But after one a 
Clock in the morning, I awoke, with a Concern upon my 
Spirit, which obhged mee to rise, and retire into my Study. 
There I cast myself on my Knees before the Lord, confessing 
my Sins that rendred mee unworthy of His Mercy, but 
imploring His Mercy to my Consort, in the Distress now 
upon her. While my Faith was pleading, that the Saviour 
who was born of a Woman, would send His good Angel to 
releeve my Consort, the People ran to my Study-door with 
Tidings, that a Son was born unto wee. I continued then on 
my Knees, praising the Lord; and I received a wonderful 
Advice from Heaven, that this my Son, shall bee a Servant 
of my Lord Jesus Christ throughout eternal Ages. 

Hee was born, about three Quarters of an Hour past 
one, in the morning, of the Lord's-day gd. $m. an hearty, 
lusty and comely Infant. 

In the Forenoon following, I preached on Psal. 90. 16. 
managing this Doctrine, That the Enjoyment of the precious 
Christ, who is the glorious Work, of God, is tfie Great Blessed- 
ness desired by good Men both for themselves, and for their 
Children. And I particularly inculcated, the Duties of 
Parents, that their Children might not miss of a Christ. 
After which I administred the Eucharist. 

In the Afternoon, I baptised my Son, and in Honour to 
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308 -DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

my Parent, I called him, Increase. After which, retiring 
to my Study, it was again assured mee from Heaven, that 
this Child shall glorify my Lord Jesus Christ, and bee with 
Him, to behold His Glory. 

16 d. s m. [July.] Lords-Day. Being full of Distress in my 
Spirit, as I was at Prayer in my Study at Noon, it was told 
mee from Heaven, that my Father shall bee carried from 
mee into England, and that my Opportunities to glorify the 
Lord Jesus Christ, will on that Occasion bee gloriously 
accommodated. 

i&d. 5 w. Tuesday. Both Houses in our General Assem- 
bly, have so passed their Bill, for the Incorporation of our 
Colledge, that there appears a Necessity of sending an 
Agent unto Whitehal to solUcit the royal Approbation for 
it. The Agency will doubtless fall upon my Father; and 
this Day proves the Time for its being one way or other 
determined.' 

I therefore sett apart this Day for Prayer with Fasting 
in my Study before the Lord, especially on that Occasion. 
And when I was, about Noon, crying to Heaven, that the 
Matter of my Father's Voyage to England, might bee well- 
ordered, it was in a manner that I may not utter, assured 
unto mee from Heaven, that my Father shall bee carried 
into England, and that I should live to see the Glory of the 
Lord in this Matter, and that at this very Time there was 
occurring that which would one Day accomplish it. 

Other Things also, as on other Dayes, when thus em- 
ploy'd, I laid before the Lord. 

Now behold, a most unintelligible Dispensation! At 
this very Time, even about Noon, instead of having the 
Bill for the Colledge enacted, as was expected, the Gover- 
nour plainly rejected it, because of a Provision therein made 
for the Religion of the Countrey. But at the same Time, 
hee told them, hee beleeved the King would grant them, 

' Quincy, History oj Harvard VnivtnUy, 1. 97-102. 

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J U L Y , I 6 9 9 309 

that very Provision and Security for our Religion, and urg'd 
them to Address the King for it, and send an Agent with an 
Address, and choose my Father for their Agent; and added, 
that hee would heartily join with them in their doing so. 
The Assembly was now all in Confusion, and had satt 
many Weeks, and were grown impatient for to bee at home, 
and many of their Members were already gone home; so 
that no Importunity of the Govemour's, could prevail 
with them, to bee willing, to do any thing in this Matter, 
until their next Session in October. 

Lord, preserve my Faith, and assist mee to wait with an 
holy and hiunble Patience, for the Issue of these myste- 
rious Things! ' 

' " 23 <l- S »»• [•^•''y-J This Day the Censure of Excommunication was passed 
upon Mr. Edward Mills. His Case was this: 

"I. The Foundation of the Displeasure conceived in the Minds of good Men 
against him was this. His Landlady, who had been a young Woman of a very 
laudable Character, became at length an horrible .Adulteress, and for her confessed 
Adulteries was made a publick Example of Punishment. 

"Now in the hours of her most poenitent Confession, she solemnly declared, 
more than once or twice to more than two or three, that Mills was the Person who 
first of all debauch'd her, and that he not only had been adulterous with her, but 
that his being so had led the Way to all her other Adulteries. Thus was that 
poor young, hopeful Family broken up. 

"Wee could never find that Mills denyed his Adulteries, they were by credible 
Circtmistances become so very evident. 

"And there were more than one or two Testimonies that Mills had been 
guilty of lewd, vile and lascivious carriages towards her (too abominable to be 
mentioned). 

"The Matter being so plain that it was no fault in any reasonable Person to 
believe it, some think the Church might justly have proceeded (after the manner 
of the French Protestant Churches,) to have demanded either a positive Denial, 
or a poenitent Confession from him; he by a sudden withdraw to other Countreys, 
left us no Opportunity at all about him. 

"II. After long absence, he returned; and we hoping his future Conversation 
would byits exemplary Poenitence and Piety recover his Reputation, only suspended 
him certain months from the Communion, with private admonitions. 

"But instead of any such conversation, we were alarm'd from all parts, with a 
continual and credible fame of his taking a scandalous Liberty at the Games which 
the Law hath declared unlawfull, and of his mispending almost whole nights, and 
sometimes, indeed, whole nights at the Tavern, and in lewd Company: by which 
means his Family suffered under a scandalous mis government: extreamly to the 
reproach of our holy Religion. 

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3IO DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

gd. 6Tn. [August.] Salureday. I endeavoured this Day the 
Exercises of a Thanksgiving in my Study. One thing, that 
especially quickened mce thereunto, was the manifold Mercy 
of God unto my Family, in carrying my Consort thro' her 
Time, and in bestowing upon mee a Son of hopeful Circiun- 
stances, and in sparing and saving the Rest of my children, 
when they have been in Danger of Death. 

"And being admonished of these things hee owned the main matter of fact, 
which if he had not owned, we were able to have proved it upon him. 

"And besides the other profanities chargeable upon him, it was proved that 
coming late from the Tavern in the evening of our preparation for the Lords-Day, 
he made himself troublesome to his other Neighbors by impertinent visit and 
Discourse, untill near midnight; at which they showing them-selves troubled, he 
replyed, Hee knew it troubled them, yet he would still stay, to vex them. 

" III. Wee were entertained with satisfactory assurances, of his having wiiten 
wicked and profane Letters to his Comrades in London, and boasting of wickedness 
(even of no less than inceslumis wickedness) wherein he nevertheless could be no 
otherwise guilty, than as his wicked boasting made him so; and hereby a great 
reproach was cast upon many very worthy persons in the Neighborhood. 

"Now tho he hath not confessed all the pKirticulars affirmed to have been in 
these villainous Letters, yet he hath confessed that hee did write foolish Letters to 
London, and that he hath foolishly taken a Liberty to speak inconvenient Things 
of some virtuous people. 

"IV. There appeared full convictive Evidence, that with horrid Lying and 
Slander hee defamed several young Gentlewomen ' in the Neighborhood, of an 
unspotted Character; and reported them to be infamous Whores. 

"And he was found guilty of adding further Lyes in his own defence, when he 
was accused of those Impieties. 

"V. Had hee expressed the least Symptom, or Shaddow, of Repentance, when 
the Pastors and Brethren of the Church, once and again dealt with him for his 
Offences, wee had not yett proceeded unto the highest Censure of our Discipline upon 
him. Instead thereof, when all possible pains to smite him into some Remorse 
had been taken with him, he manifested such an Obduration as was to our aston- 
ishment. 

"Yea, between the Resolution and the Execution of the just Sentence to be 
passed upon him, he made it his Business, in matters not relating to his own Case, 
to sow Discord among the Neighbors, by such Talebearing as is not only a abomina- 
tion unto the Lord, but also intollcrable and abominable to all Civiil Society. 

"So far was he from Repentance, 

" VI. When the Day appointed for the Censure arrived, hee appeared not, 
tho he had been most solemnly once and again required to make his appearance, 
and hear the Church. Instead thereof, and as a further contempt, hee sent (in the 
time of the publick Exercises,) unto the Elders then in the Congregation, a rude, 

' Mather has entered on the margin the names of Mr. John Caiman and Mr. 

Newcomb Blague. 

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AUGUST, 1699 311 

My Exercises were managed, with little variance of 
Method, from what has been usual with mee, on such 
Dayes: But with such Feebleness, that I resolved upon 
an Endeavour shortly to set apart another Day for this 
Purpose. 

One singular Article of my Thought and Praise this day 
was, the Singularity of the Divine Dispensations towards 
mee. There are many Favours of Heaven, wherein I have 
been singular. Especially, 

First, that I should bee such an horribly guilty and 
filthy Sinner, (in some Respects, above any that I know, 
of my Generation) ; and that yett my Sin bee covered, and 
I bee after all my Sin, employ'd in more than ordinary 
Service, for the Churches of my Lord Jesus Christ. 

Secondly, that I should bee a great Stammerer, and yett 
bee made not only a Preacher of the Gospel, but also my 
Utterance in my preaching bee not the least Ornament of 
it, and I bee used in speaking more than any man of my 
Age in the Land, on the most important Occasions. 

Thirdly, that I should bee a more silly and shallow Per- 
son, than most in this Coimtrey; and yett write and print 
more Books, and have greater Opportunities to do good by 
my pubUshed Composures, than any Man that ever was in 
this Countrey, or indeed in all America. 

Fourthly, that I should bee as unqualified for the evan- 
gelical Ministry, and as unfruitful in it, as any Man; and 
yett bee settled in the Metropolis of New England, and 
enjoy the greatest Auditories in that Metropolis; and in my 
early Youth, bee called forth on the most solemn Occasions, 
that these Colonies have afforded. 

venemous and villainous paper, asserting that nothing heinous had been proved against 
him, and contriving to fix further Odium and Reproach on the Names of other 
people: which paper he demanded to be read in the publick. 

"On the whole the Church passed on him the Censure, for which those Mis- 
carriages and Impoenitencies, had ripened him." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the 
Second Church, n. 

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312 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Sensible of the Divine Favours to mee, in these Regards, 
I rendred my Thanks unto the Lord. And that I might 
the more effectually do that Part of my Duty belonging to 
this Day, which lies in studying, What I shall render to the 
Lord! I studied a Sermon, on Math. 5. 47. What do yee 
more than others? which I preached on the day ensuing. 

About this Time, considering the Condition of the Non- 
Conformists, in the English Nation, and the Temptations 
whereto they are obnoxious, and how little the Babylonish 
Constitution, and Pelagian Apostasy,^ of the Canonical 
Church of England, is considered; I did, with some Exact- 
ness of study, write an Essay, to prove, that the Churches 
of the Non-Conformists, have a very great Claim, to bee 
accounted The Church of England; and are indeed the truest 
and soundest parts of it. This Essay, I entituled, A Let- 
ter OF Advice, to the Chxirches of the Non-conform- 
ists. In it, I had also a special Design to fortify, the 
Neighbours in the Town, and the Scholars in the Land, 
where I lived against the Dangers of Conforming. But, 
I am forbidden printing it here; so that I must watch my 
best Opportunity of sending it imto London. 

I sent it unto London. And in the Spring of the year 
1 701, I understand, it is published and much Notice taken 
of it.« 

A few Months ago, the bloody Bishop of London, (as I 
am credibly informed) wrote over unto one of his Curates 
in this Town, desiring information from him, of whatever 
treasonable or seditious Passages (I suppose against, the 
Church 1) I might bee charged withal. Doubtless, this 

' As Pelagius taught that there was no such thing as original sin, sin being a 
thing of will and not of nature, the opposition of Mather is easily explained. 
Such a doctrine would undermine and destroy the teachings of the congregational 
churches. 

'This paragraph is written in the margin. The book was printed by A. 
Baldwin, in London. The letter was signed "Philalethes." Increase Mather's 
copy was io the Brinley catalogue, No. 1151. 

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AUGUST, 1699 313 

little Composure, if it comes to bee published, wUl sett some 
Edge upon his bloody Inclinations: but the Lord whom I 
serve, even the Great Bishop of Souls, will preserve mee.* 

igd.tm. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, for Prayer 
with Fasting, in my Study, to obtain the Pardon of my 
many Sins, and the Blessing of God, on mee in my Min- 
istry, and my Family, and on my Undertakings to glorify 
Him. 

I had occasion, very particularly, to pray for the Counsil 
and Conduct of Heaven, in several Articles, that my Studies 
have been, or would bee upon. 

I would bee directed, about, my. Letter of Advice to the 
N[on] C[onformist]s. I would bee directed and assisted in 
my Lectiu-e the next week; and, if God will favour it, I 
would publish it, by the Press, with my two former Lectures. 

I am inclineable to write. An History of the Caroline 
Persecution. O my God, Grant mee thy Direction about 
it; and never suffer mee to write any Thing, whereby the 
Interests of Truth and peace, may bee damniSed. 

I want the Direction of Heaven, and Assistence also, 
about a Journey, to some of our northern Towns. 

But one Occasion, that now more particularly drove mee 
to Heaven was this. 

A Manj(called May) is lately arrived among us from 
EnglandfaxiSrSstXup ioT a public Preacher. The Man is 
a wondrous Lump of Ignorance and Arrogance; but having 
a plausible Delivery of himself, the People of the Town, 
are wonderfully taken with him. 

The Ministers of the Town, to whom hee declines giving 
an Accoimt of himself, seeing very suspicious Marks of an 
Impostor upon him, have therefore declined asking him to 
preach in oiu' Pulpitts. The Incendiary is therefore gone 
off to preach unto a Congregation of Anabaptists in our 

'Henry Compton (1632-1713) was then bishop of London, but in no sense 
deserved the appellation given by Mather. 

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314 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Neighbourhood, which was before dwindled almost into 
nothing: and Multitudes of the giddy People are as much 
bewitched with him, as if hee were another Simon Magus. 
There is evidently a Satanic Energy on the People in this 
Town; and Satan is attempting, tho' by a very little Tool, 
a great Shock to our churches. 

I therefore thought it my Duty to carry the matter, by 
Prayer, with Fasting, unto the Lord. I did so; and con- 
fessed the Defects of my pastoral Care over my Flock, and 
implored the Help of the Good Spirit of Grace, that my 
Flock may bee preserved from all the evil Influences of the 
Evil one, and I may more faithfully and fervently than ever, 
discharge my Office to my Flock, especially in the Point 
of calling upon them, as well privately as pubhckly to answer 
their baptismal Obligations. 

Prayer and Patience, will bring this Temptation to a 
comfortable Issue. 

24 d. 6 m. Thursday. I enjoy'd a more than ordinary 
Help from Heaven, in preaching of my Lecture. 

After it, I am desired by some judicious and sensible 
Persons, to publish these my Discourses on Justification. I 
foresee, that I am likely herein to enjoy, (what I have 
earnestly pray'd for) an Opportunity, not only to explain 
and maintain the evangelical Truth unto the Churches in 
this Land, but also to do some special Service for the Lord 
Jesus Christ, in His contending Churches beyond-sea; which 
I will now solemnly Address, with the true Doctrine of 
Justification, under this Advantage, as being the Doctrine 
of the Churches of New England. And that it may with 
the more Efficacy and Authority pretend so to bee, I single 
out some of the most significant Pastors, in our Churches, 
to accommodate my Treatise, with their Attestations. To 
make the composure, yett more significant, I do with an 
Agreeable Dedication, direct it unto the Ministers in Lon- 
don, with all the Charms I can readily devise, to make 
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SEPTEMBER, 1699 315 

them resume the Character of United Brethren. So I give 
it unto the Bookseller, under the Title of The Everlasting 
Gospel. 1 

2d. T tn. [September.] Satureday. I sett apart this Day, 
for Prayer, in my Study, on the same Occasion, that thus 
employ 'd mee, a Fortnight ago; and very particularly to 
implore the Smiles of Heaven on my northern Journey. 

This Day, I understand by Letters from Carolina, a 
thing that exceedingly refreshes mee; a Jew there embracing 
the Christian Faith, and my little Book, The Faith of the 
Fathers, therein a special Instrument of good imto him. 

"J d. y m. And now I carmot but observe a wonderful 
Thing. Several Wretches have arrived among us, pretend- 
ing to preach the Gospel, with a more than ordinary Zeal. 
But the flaming Eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ, who had been 
affronted, by the Hypocrites, have quickly demonstrated 
His Holy Presence in His Churches, by precipitating into 
a speedy Confusion, those hj^ocritical Intruders. And one 
special Way of His confounding them has been by Detect- 
ing some scandalous Plagiarism, in their Sermons. 

Accordingly, that pernicious Incendiary S. May, for 
the Discovery of whose Cheats, I had sent up some secret 
Prayers unto the Lord is now likely in that way already to 
bee discovered, and exposed. I heard him deliver a Ser- 
mon at a private Meeting; the Sermon I repeted unto my 
Father. Hee newly having bought a Book of Dr Bolton's^ 
tiuu'd it over a httle, to see the Subjects handled in it. 
There hee found the very Sermon, which I had repeted; 
the Wretch had stolen his whole Sermon from that Author. 
This being demonstrated unto the Neighbourhood, they 
admire the Providence, that hath taken such swift Steps, to 
find out a Cheat. And he hardened Wretch denying that 

> It was printed in Boston, 1700, by B. Green and J. Allen for N. Buttolph, and 
contained addresses to the reader by Increase Mather, John Higginson and Samuel 
Willard. Brinley, No. 1110. 

' Samuel Bolton. 

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3l6 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

ever hee saw any Book of Bolton's, but asserting, and oflFer- 
ing to swear it, that the whole Discourse was entirely the 
Effect of his own Industry and Invention, it increases their 
Detestacon of him. Thus is the Lord hearing Prayer ; and the 
Incendiary that hath so quickly begun to fall, ivill surely falll 

lo d. 7 m. Lords-day. The Lord gives mee, a more than 
ordinary Assurance from Heaven, this Day, that I shall 
enjoy a special Presence of His with mee, in the Journey 
which I intend this Week, and that I shall therein glorify 
my Lord Jesus Christ exceedingly. 

On the Day following, I began my Journey accompanied, 
with an hopeful young Gentleman, a Graduate of the Col- 
ledge, whose Parents desired mee, to make his waiting on 
mee, an Opportunity of my doing all possible Good unto 
him. God smiled on my Journey all along, with signal 
Demonstrations of His Favour, in all the Circumstances of 
it. The Weather proved seasonable, and some threatned 
Storms, kept off till I returned. A strange Descent of 
Hundreds of Bears, infesting the Road I was to travel, 
alarmed all People, but I mett none of them. I was enter- 
tained with very unmerited Respects wherever I came. I 
went the first Night unto Salem; and the next, I went unto 
Ipsvdch; where I preached the Lecture, (on Heb. ii. i.) 
Thursday, igd. j m. to a very vast Assembly. On the 
Day following I returned unto Salem; where, on the Lord's- 
day, I preached both parts of the Day, to great AssembUes. 
On the Munday, I returned home, with the good Hand of 
God upon mee, and found all well at Home. 

30 d. 7 m. Satureday. That I may carry the Concerns of 
my Soul, my Health, my Flock, my Family, my Ministry, 
and the whole Church, unto the Lord, I sett apart this Day 
for Prayer, with Fasting in my Study. Nothing remark- 
able occurred in it. 

About this Time, seeing the declining and languishing 
State of the Old Church in this Town, I thought, that what- 

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SEPTEMBER, 1699 317 

ever Diminution it might prove to my own flourishing 
Flock, it would bee a Thing acceptable to Heaven, and ser- 
viceable to all the Land, and a Demonstration of Sincerity, 
in my Dispositions to the Interests of my Lord Jesus Christ, 
if I might bee an Instrument of bringing that Church again 
to florish. I saw, there was but one Way to do it; and that 
was, by commending to them, and procuring for them, a 
Minister of some Age, and great Abihty, and Authority, and 
Experience, and of eminent Piety, and of a peaceable Tem- 
per, and of Congregational principles, and a popular and 
plausible preacher. Now, I having a correspondence with 
such an one, at this Time, sojourning in West New Jersey, 
commended him to the Consideration of the principal 
Gentlemen in the Old Church. They being satisfied, in the 
Character I had given of him, desired mee, to invite him, as 
from myself, to make an occasional Visit unto this Town; 
and my Father joining with mee, in signing the Letter which 
I thus wrote at their Desire, the cheef Brethren of the Church, 
who saw it, thank'd mee for it, exceedingly, and for the 
Generosity and Self-denial we had expressed in it. I left it 
with them, to show it, imto the young Man, their present 
Pastor; ' but that young Man, was very angry with mee, and 
with them, for the Action; and stirr'd up a Storm of most 
unworthy Reproaches on mee, from a Party in the Town. 
This was the Reward of my sincere and zelous Labours, 
to save the Old Church from a dreadful Convulsion, that I 
see hastening on them, and to find them a Minister, by the 
flocking to whose Ministry, I suppose, my own Flock, will bee 
sensibly diminished! But I had a secret Faith, produced in 
mee, on this Occasion, that God will but smile on my own 
Flock the more, and on mee, [increasing the] Numerousness 
of my Flock the more, as the Reward of th[is act]. 
However at the Desire of the young man [eaten away.] 

> Benjamin Wadswortb (1669-1737), who was associated with James Alien 
(1632-1710). 

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3l8 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Memorandum. Our Anabaptists, (a People of no good 
Spirit,) I am told, are tampering with the Church of England 
Party in this Town, to do mee certain Mischiefs if they can. 
Their Provocation at mee, is this. I desired of them, on 
my own behalf, and the behalf of the other Ministers, that 
they would give mee a Meeting. Whereat I would convict 
the New-Holder-forth, which they have sett up among them, 
of being a Cheat, and guilty of horrible, and notorious, and 
repeated Lying against his Conscience. Their Church sent 
mee this astonishing Answer, They should not apprehend 
themselves concerned to take any Notice of Charge against 
him. And hereupon, they fall into a great Rage against 
mee, tho' I have been more tender of them, and civil to 
them, as they cannot but confess, than all the Ministers 
of New England. 

One of them telling mee, that some certain Things (hee 
would not say. What) began to bee whispered about mee; 
I could cheerfully reply. Thro' the Grace of Christ, I can 
challenge all the Men, that ever were in the world, to say all 
they know concerning mee. Hee seeing my Cheerfulness, 
and Security putt this Explication on his words; Hee meant, 
that the Church of England Men, were privately hatching 
a Plott, to ruine mee, as hee was privately informed. I 
answered him, Go to the Church of England Men, tell them 
from mee, that as for them, God has made mee a defenced City, 
an iron Pillar, and a brasen wall; and lett 'em fight never so 
cunningly against mee, they shall never prevail to do mee any 
Harm. Go tell 'em also, that tho' I am every way little, yetl I 
hope, thro' the Help of Christ, I may live, to do for them the 
same Kindness, that Sampson did for their PhiUstian Brethren, 
and pull down their Temples about their Ears.^ 

18 (f. 8 w. [October] Wednesday. I sett apart this Day, for 

' Cotton Mather received news about this time of his being joined in the dis- 
posing of the funds of the Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Indians. 
Scwalt, Diary, i, 503. 

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OCTOBER, 1699 319 

the Exercises of a THANKSGIVING, in secret before the 
Lord. The Methods attended, and the Mercies confessed, 
this Day, were much the Same, with those of my last Exer- 
cise in this kind. And the Resolutions, which I took up, 
for the expressing of my Gratitude unto the Lord, I defer 
to mention, till the Opportunities occurr, for the Execu- 
tions of them. 

Yett there are two or three peculiar Favours of God 
xmto mee, that must in this Place, bee more particularly 
mentioned. 

I am especially sensible of the Divine Favour to mee in 
preserving for mee, an unblemished Reputation. I perceive 
myself by some Circumstances rendred so obnoxious to 
raging Envy, that if any true Thing might bee reported unto 
my Prejudice, or, if any false Thing might bee invented, 
that would bee likely to stick upon mee, my Reputation 
would immediately find those that would mine it. But the 
Wonderful Grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, has kept my 
Name in Safety, and Honour. Oh! what shall I do for the 
Honour of Hist 

I am also very sensible of the Divine Favour to mee, 
in the vast Auditories, which come every Lord's-Day to 
attend upon my poor, mean, unworthy Ministry. Few 
Ministers in the World, preach unto the like; it would bee 
beyond the Strength of a mortal Man, to preach unto much 
bigger. How does this obhge mee, to preach as excellent 
and well studied Sermons as ever I can and contrive all my 
public Exercises in the most edifying manner that I am 
able. 

To Renew my pastoral Visits, with more stated Exact- 
ness and prudent Fervency, is one special Purpose, which 
I am now putt upon, and accordingly the Divine Help 
therein, I make one special Article of my Supplications. 

23 d. 8 m. This Day, I receive Advice of the Death of 
my poor \]nc\t,Mr.John Cotton, by the same horrible plague, 

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320 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

that has carried off multitudes, at Carolina.^ I have Rea- 
son to give great Thanks unto Heaven, in that the Lord 
accepted that poor Man, to dy in the Service of the 
Church, after the Death which there had been upon all 
Hopes of any such matter, by his Abdication from his 
work at Plymouth.^ 

28 d. 8 m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day for Prayer 
with Fasting in my Study. Many Desires I carried unto 
the Lord, which I beleeve Hee did accept; and will Answer. 
But especially concerning the Composures, which I have 
sent into England: And another, which I am now going to 
write. 

When I this Day considered, how strangely the Lord 
hath, beyond my Expectation, prolonged my Life, to this 
Age, I acknowledged the Favour of Heaven to mee. I also 
besought of the Lord, That notwithstanding my Unthank- 
fulness and Unfruitfulness Hee would spare mee yett a 
little Space longer to glorify Him upon Earth. And I 
besought Him, that when my Time should come to dy, I 
may dy easily and willingly. 

In the Close of the Day, prostrate on my study Floor, 
I obtained some Assurance from Heaven, that the Lord 
would not reject mee from serving Him, but yett employ mee 
in eminent Service for Him; and give mee His good Spirit, 
and send mee His good Angel, and use mee in a Manner 
that I cannot yett apprehend. 

Memorandum. Many months ago, in my public Prayers, 
I uttered a strange, and strong Faith, for the Deliverance of 
my Neighbours, from their horrible Captivity, in Zallee; a 
Captivity among the barbarous Monsters of Africa, from 
whence ordinarily there is no Deliverance. 

Behold, no less than four of them, are lately delivered 

' Sec letter to Mrs. Joanna Cotton, of this date, in 4 CoUectums, vni. 403. 
' Cotton went to Charleston, S. C, in November, 1698, and died there Sep- 
tember 17, 1699. See letter of Hugh Adams, in Sewall, Diary, 11. 11. 

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NOVEMBER, 1699 32I 

and some of them with very surprising Circumstances. I 
have opportunity to give solemn Thanks, imto God their 
Saviour, in the very Place, where Prayers had been so fer- 
vently putt up, for their Deliverance. 

2 d. 9 w. [November] Thursday. Boslon-LectuTe was this 
day tum'd into a Fast, for the Churches languishing under 
a revived, and horrible Persecution, in Europe; especially 
in France.^ The former part of the Day, was carried on, 
by the other three Ministers of the Town. In the latter 
Part, I prayed, and my Father preached. 

The Day following, I spent in the Exercises of a Thanks- 
giving, with other Ministers and Christians, at the House of 
a Gentleman, happily deUvered from Captivity in Barbary. 
At which House wee had formerly pray'd, for his DeUver- 
ance. 

In the Exercises of both these Dayes, I enjoy'd very 
merciful Assistences of Heaven, 

12 d.gm. Lords-Day. This Day, in the Evening, pros- ' 
trate on my Study-floor, with my Face in the Dust, I \ 
received a marvellous Assurance from Heaven, that by the 
Gift of God, the Righteousness of my Lord Jesus Christ, was 
now so made mine, that I might rest on it, as my Title to 
heavenly Blessedness; and that the Spirit of my Lord Jesus 
Christ, wotdd now fill mee, and employ mee, and apply mee, 
to glorify His Name. The Time and Way of my Death, I 
did now with a sweet Satisfaction of Soul, resign unto the 
Lord Jesus Christ; and considering Him also as the Lord 
of all Opportunities that any Men have to serve Him, and 
His Church, I did with a satisfied Soul, make to Him a 
Resignation of all my future Opportunities to do that which 
I desired above all Things in the World: but I was here- 
withal assiured, that my Opportunities would yett bee very 
glorious. 

'"Fast is warned to be next Thorsday for the Afflicted church abroad." 
Sewall, Diary, 503. 

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322 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

After this, I visited the young men's Meeting, and gave 
a Sermon, to invigorate the Designs of Religion, too much 
decaying among them.' 

igd. gm. Lords-Day. This Day at Noon, by a strange 
Irradiation from Heaven, I am assured of several Things 
to come. 

23 d. 9 m. Thursday. This Day was a pubUck THANKS- 
GIVING to God, celebrated throughout the Province. 

Among other Duties of the Day, I judged it proper to 
call upon each of the several Persons in my Family, to 
recoUect seriously, what special Favours of God, they were 
to bee thankful for? and by what special Actions they were 
to express their Thankfulness. And such of them, as it 
was more proper thus to treat, I anon called upon, to give 
mee a particular Account, of what Result their Thoughts 
were come unto. 

26 d. 9 m. Lords-Day. Tho' SELF-EXAMINATION, 
bee a Duty very frequently attended with mee, yett I 
have rarely had the Time or Strength to write, the Articles 
of it. 

I will at this Time, amidst my other Laboiu3, just 
write such Things as these. 

Q. I. What is the greatest, and only Rdeef of my Soul? 

A. I have beheld the glorious and perfect Righteousness 
of my Lord Jesus Christ, provided by the Grace of God, 
for my Justification before Him; and Hee has, by His 
Grace, helped mee to accept that Righteousness, upon the 
offer of it. 

Q. 2. What is the cheef Desire of my Soul? 

A. li I know any Thing of my self, tis, to glorify my 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

Q. 3. What is the cheef Delight of my Soul? 

^. I am certain, it is to find that I do glorify my Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

• Twelve lines followed which were struck out by Mather. 

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DECEMBER, 1699 323 

Q. 4. What is the cheef Trouble of my Soul? 

A. I feel none, like that of the Sin remaining in mee, 
which indisposes mee to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ; and 
which grieves ffis Holy Spirit. 

At this Time, having preached a Sermon, unto the Sea- 
faring people, which are a very numerous People, in my Con- 
gregation, it found so much acceptance among them, that 
they earnestly desired it might be pubUshed, and they 
furnished with it. Accordingly, I gave it unto them, and 
the Bookseller, who immediately putt it into the Press. It 
is entituled. The Religious Mariker.' 

my God, my God, my Lord Jesus Christ, I do with an 
astonished Soul, adore thy sovereign Grace, which thus 
makes use of mee, a poor, mean, vile Wretch, to glorify 
thy Name, when so many better qualified than I, are laid 
by as useless. My Soul is even swallowed up, in Astonish- 
ments of Admirations at this Free-grace of Heaven! 

1 am verily perswaded, this httle Book particularly, 
which was in a Manner composed in one little Part of a 
Day, and consisting of no more than two Sheets of an half, 
will prove greatly serviceable to the Souls of many abroad 
in the World. 

7 d. 10 m. [December.] I am now to relate a wonderful 
Thing. 

Albeit I had several Months ago, convicted, that wicked 
Incendiary, that goes by the Name of May, to bee a lying 
Fellow, and all the judicious people of the Town, deserted 
him and abhorred him, on my so convicting of him; yett a 
weak, rash, ill-spirited Crue, continued still to follow him. 
I never saw a more sensible Energy of Satan, upon the Minds 
of a Mob, than in this Instance; and God, for Holy End's 
letting Satan loose, the wicked Incendiary, with the silly 
Drove, which hee bewitched, made it a main Part of their 
business, to ly and rail, and rage against mee, on all Occa- 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1700. 

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324 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

sions; because it seems they were more afraid of mee, than 
of some others. It was on these Accounts, a Day of Temp- 
tation to mee; but God helped mee patiently and cheerfully 
to encounter the Evils of the Day. I told the Wretch a 
few weeks ago; the glorious Lord Jesus Christ mil certainly 
and speedily detect you, and in your Confusion, Hee will 
make all the Churches to know that Hee searches the Hearts 
[eaten away] of the Children of Men. At last, the Wretch 
[eaten away]. begin to forsake him, and 

having chous'd the foolish People of a great Summ of 
Money, hee ship'd himself to bee gone for England. Here- 
upon, I cried unto God, with ardent Prayers, that if it 
might bee obtained, and if it might be for His Glory and 
the Welfare of His churches, this Wolf in Sheeps Cloathing, 
might bee discovered before his going off. And now, 
behold, by means of my being privately informed, that 
such Testimonies could bee had, there appear this Day, 
several sober, modest, and virtuous Women, who deposed 
upon Oath before the Magistrate, that this May, had 
often affronted them with lewd, vile, unci\-il jind lascivious 
Actions, and watching Opportunities to gett them alone, 
would offer them rude Things, which abundantly satisfied 
them, of his being a great Rogue, and that if they had 
been for his Turn, hee would have stuck at no villany 
towards them: and some of his abominable Speeches, to 
them, not fitt here to bee transcribed, they also testified. 
Thus the Wretch, went off with a Stink! And whereas, I 
had signified unto the Anabaptists, that the Impiety of their 
Carriage about this Man, would, I beleeve, be chastised, 
by this very Man's proving thro' the Vengeance of God, a 
blemish and a Ruine imto them, tis now most remarkably 
coming to pass.' 

Considering the marvellous Providence of God, in these 

' Mather pays his respects to May at some lengtli in .1 Warning to Ike 
Flocks, 24-49. 

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DECEMBER, 1699 325 

Occurrences, and the Recompence that God was giving to 
my past Conduct under the Reproaches and Injuries, which 
I had undergone, for the sake of this detected Wolf, I 
thought, it woxdd many Wayes be serviceable, for mee to 
preach imto my great Congregation, a Sermon upon those 
Words, in Job. 13. 9. Is it Good that God should search 
you out: or one Man mocketh another, do yee so mock Him? 
I did so, on the Lord's-day following; without mentioning 
the occasion, but yett managing the whole Discourse in 
such a Manner, that every one in the great Congregation, 
may see, what was the tragical Occasion and Example, that 
moved mee, to give them this Warning, that the Great God, 
who will not bee mocked, will thoroughly discern, and terribly 
detect, those that go to mock Him. 

Now, that I might not myself, remain under the Guilt 
of any of my own former Iniquities, wherein I had been 
myself so much a Mocker of God, 1 sett apart the Satureday 
before, for secret Humiliations and Supplications, in my 
Study. 

And on the Lord-day ensuing, when I was at Noon, on 
my Knees, before the Lord in my Study, I begg'd of Him, 
to afford mee signal Assistences, in the pubUc Services of 
the Afternoon. One Passage in my Prayer was, that I 
would humbly look on such Assistences, as a Sign, that the 
Lord had mercifully and marvellously thro' His Christ, par- 
doned imto mee, all my own former Iniquities, wherein I 
had mocked His infinite Majesty. Now, I was remarkably 
favoured in this Point: I know not, whether I have ever 
been assisted, with more Influences from Heaven, in my 
pubUc Services. 

But here was not all the Occasion, of my being engaged 
in the Duties of a secret Fast, on the Satureday mentioned. 
I see, another Day of Temptation begun upon the Town and 
Land. A Company of Head-strong Men in the Town, the 
cheef of whom, are fidl of maUgnity to the Holy Wayes of 
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326 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

our Churches, have built in this Town, another Meeting- 
house. To delude many better-meaning Men in their own 
Company, and the Churches in the Neighbourhood, they 
past a Vote, in the Foundation of their Proceedings, that 
they would not vary from the Practice of these Churches, 
except in one httle Particular. But a yoimg Man, bom 
and bred here, and hence gone for England, is now retum'd 
hither, at their Invitation, equip'd with an Ordination, to 
qualify him, for all that is intended.' On his returning and 
arriving here, these fallacious People, desert their Vote, 
and without the Advice or Knowledge of the Ministers in 
the Vicinity they have published, under the Title of a Mani- 
festo, certain Articles, that utterly subvert our Churches, 
and invite an ill Party thro' all the Coimtrey, to throw all 
into Confusion on the first Opportunities.' This drives the 
Ministers, that would bee faithful unto the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and His Interests in the Churches, into a Necessity 
of appearing for their Defence. No Uttle Part of these 
Actions must unavoidably fall to my Share. I have already 
written a large monitory Letter, to these Innovators, which 
tho' most lovingly penn'd, yett enrages their violent and 
impetuous Lusts, to cany- on the Apostasy. I now cry to 
God, that Hee will direct mee (and his other Servants) i'^ 
all my future Steps about this affayr, and preserve mee 
from all wrong ones; and inspire mee, with all the Courage, 
Patience, and Prudence, needful to carry mee thro' my 
Testimonies, [eaten away] unto Him, that is these Men, 
bee [eaten away]. Enterprise, the Lord Jesus Christ, the 
Lord of our Churches, would show His Care of these His 
Churches by defeating the Designs that Satan may have 
in the Enterprise. 

On the day following, at Noon in my Study, as 
I was laying this Request before the Lord, I thought, 

' Benjamin Colman. 

" Published November 17, ibgg, in a folio of three pages. 

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DECEMBER, 1699 327 

it was assured mee from Heaven that it should be 
granted. 

One special Errand of my Prayers to Heaven on Sature- 
day, was the Condicon of my Father-in-Law, in his present 
Widow-hood. 

One of my Sisters, is for diverse weeks bleeding to Death, 
and has a dead Infant within her. This day I cried unto 
the Lord for her; and behold, shee was wonderfully delivered 
this very day, beyond the reasonable Fears, of those that 
look'd upon her Deliverance from Death, next unto an 
Impossibility. 

On the ensuing Thursday, I preached the Lecture, 
and then handled that Subject (from Rev. 2. 3.) What 
are the Apprehensions, and what the Dispositions wheremth 
all the Churches are to consider Him, searching the Reins and 
the Hearts of the Children of Men: Designing to have a 
right use made of the wonderful Providence, which had 
lately detected the wicked Preacher among us.' 

23 d. 10 m. Satureday. The same occasions, that invited 
mee, to bee this Day fortnight engaged in the Exercises of 
a secret Fast, obhged mee to bee this Day labouring at the 
like Exercises. 

And there was this Addition, to the Occasions of my 
being thus employed. Several Ministers in the Countrey 
here and there, are languishing under great Infirmities, and 
especially those of a crazy Melancholy. I that by a miracle 
of mercy, enjoy so much Health, and Strength, and Serenity, 
as to bee not unfitted for my public Work, altho' I am of 
such a feeble Constitution, have imspeakable Reason to pray 
for such as are more uneasily circumstanced. 

^i d. 10 m. Lords-Day. Observing my Father, in Dis- 
course with him Yesterday, to bee under some Discourage- 
ment, about the Accomplishment of the Particular Faith, 
which had seemed so often infused from Heaven into our 

' Printed in A Warning to the Flocks, 54-79. 

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328 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Minds, about his yett having an Opportunity to glorify the 
Lord Jesus Christ in England; I did this Day at Noon, in 
my Study, lay that Matter before the Lord. And as I was 
concluding my Petitions about it, without any special Opera- 
tion from Heaven upon my mind, and just ready to con- 
clude, I should have none, my mind suddenly felt a strange 
and a strong Operation from Heaven upon it, which caused 
mee to break forth into Expressions of this Importance; 
The Lord will do it, The Lord will do it, my Father shall be 
carried into England, and he shall there have a short, but a 
great Opportunity to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ; In a most 
wonderful Way, it shall bee brought about; And it shall al 
last appear, that the Faith which there Jias been concerning 
it, was the wonderful Work of Heaven; and the Lord shall 
have Revenues of Glory from it ! 

About this Time, there were two special Services, which 
I endeavoured, for the Church of my Lord Jesus Christ. 

An Indian Primer, was ordered for to bee composed 
and pubhshed. The Gentlemen that were to translate it, 
requested of mee to compose it. I did so; and with as much 
Artifice and Contrivance as I could, I interwove into it, 
such Things, as I thought it of most Consequence, for 
young persons to have their Minds tinged withal, and such 
Things also, as were more peculiarly agreeable to the Con- 
ditions and the Temptations of the Indians.^ 

Moreover, considering what Impostors have sometimes 
come among us, pretending to bee Ministers, and unto what 
Hazards our unstable People expose themselves either of 
being seduced into damnable Heresies by such Impostors 
or of bringing the illustrious Ordmance of preaching the 
Gospel into loathsome Contempt, by suffering such Impostors 

' "The Savoy-Confession of Faith, Engl[ish] on one side and Indian on the 
other, has been lately printed here; as also several Sermons of the Presidents 
[Increase Mather) have been transcribed into Indian, and printed, which I hope in 
God's time will have a very good Effect." Sewait to Sir Wiliiam Ashurst, May 3, 
1700. Leltcr Book, i. 331. 

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JANUARY, 1699-17OO 329 

to prostitute it, I composed a Warning unto the Churches, 
against these horrible Mischiefs. Into this Warning, I also 
inwrought some Admonition unto Ministers themselves, to 
frame well-studied Sermons; and a Praemonition imto the 
people, concerning the Mischiefs, that will ensue, from their 
crying up, an unlearned Ministry. Laying this Instrument 
before an Assembly of the neighbouring Mim'sters, they all 
sign'd it. And I added unto it, that it might come abroad 
with greater Efficacy, an History of Nine several Impostors, 
which had appeared in our Churches. But the last of these, 
being the Fellow, which in the last Summer so bewitch't this 
Town, to sett off the History of him, with the more Ad- 
vantage, I drew it up, in the form of a large Letter, wherein 
also, I pursued some further Purposes of Service. This I 
annexed unto the History; and gave the whole \mto the 
Printer; under the Title of, The Flocks warned against 
Wolves in Sheeps Cloathing. And, behold the remark- 
able Fulfilment, of what I had foretold unto this man, that 
in him the Lord Jesus Christ would make the Churches know 
that Hee searches the Reins and the Hearts t The Lecture- 
Sermon, which I preached from these very Words, on the 
Detection of this Wretch, is added unto this Little Book, 
under the Title, of Something to be known by the 
Chxhiches.' 

I also wrote a large Letter unto the Anabaptists, advising 
them to repent of their Scandals in defending and employ- 
ing the late Impostor, and assuring them, that [if] they 
did not, God would manifest yett more of His Displeasure 
against them. 

Sd. lint. [January.] Satureday. I see Solan beginning a 
terrible Shake imto the Churches of New England; and the 
Innovators, that have sett up a new Church in Boston, (a new 
one indeed!) have made a Day of Temptation among us. 
The Men are ignorant, arrogant, obstinate, and full of 

" Printed for the Booksellers, 1700, with the title A Warning to the Flocks. 

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330 



DIARY or COTTON MATHER 



Malice and Slander, and they fill the Land with Lyes, in the 
Misrepresentacon whereof, I am a very singular Sufferer.' 

Wherefore I sett apart this Day again, for Prayer in my 
Study: to cry mightily unto God. 

I first besought of the Lord, that I might bee made 
very holy, watchful, humble, patient, and faithful, in this 
Day of Temptation, and that I might be preserved from doing 
any one Thing, which might be injurious to His holy Truths, 
and wayes, and Churches; a Thing, which I declared, I had 
rather dy, than dol 

I sett myself, to consider, what Sins of mine, might 
contribute in one regard or other, to the Mischiefs in this 
Day of Temptation; and especially, my not being at Pains 
enough, to fortify the Churches throughout the Coimtrey, 
in evangelical Principles and Practices; and I desired the 
Pardon of them, thro' the great Sacrifice. I carried the 
Churches imto the Lord Jesus Christ, and beg'd of Him, to 
rescue them from the Spirit of Apostasy, that is breaking 
in upon them, and chain up the evil Spirit, that hath broke 
forth among us. I spred before the Lord, the Designs, and 
Actions of the Innovators, and requested of Him, that if the 
Thing which these Men are about, be displeasing to Him, 
His wonderful Providence, might interpose, and make all 
the Churches to be sensible of it. 

I also cried unto the Lord, for happy Tidings from 
England, about my Composures, which I have sent thither 
to be published. 

And I besought the Presence of the Lord with mee, in 
my whole Ministry, and all the Ailayrs of it. But especially 
because I am going to preach largely upon the Devices of 
Satan, and I have by Experience found, that I have then 
eminently suffer'd the Temptacons of Satan, when I have 
been to preach on his Temptacons. I now thought it need- 

' The story of the Brattle Street Church is told in Hill, Bislory of Ike Old 
South Church, i. 310. 

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JANUARY, 1699-170O 331 

ful in an extraordinary manner, to implore the Help of 
Heaven, that I may not only handle the Matter wisely, but 
also bee preserved [from th]e Devil and the Bujffetiogs of 
Satan, (which I mu[st eaten oui[ I am doing of it. 

ig d. ij m. Friday. I sett apart this Day for Prayer 
with Fasting, before the Lord, on the ^me Occasions, that 
procured my last Engagement in such Devotions. 

And inasmuch as I am now proceeding imto some signal 
Testimonies, against the Innovations, that are going to shake 
our Churches, I bewayled before the Lord, my Sins, that 
had exceedingly forfeited the high Favours, of being em- 
ploy'd in any Testimonies for Him; and I cried unto the 
Lord, that Hee would please both to direct my Testimonies, 
and accept them; and to testify His Acceptance thereof, by 
making mee serviceable unto His Interests, and by giving 
mee Acceptance among His more faithful People; and by 
sending mee Tidings of His having accepted the Com- 
posures that I have sent unto London, for public Benefit, 
(which the Lord will do; Hee will do it! Hee will do it I) ' 
and by fillin g mee with the Comforts and Graces of His 
Holy Spirit, so as to make up unto mee, all the Damage of 
the Reproaches that I must suffer from an Apostate-Genera- 
tion. 

In the Evening, I went and preach'd unto the Meeting, 
preparing for the Lord's-Table, as I use to do. 

21 d. 11 m. Lord's-day. What signal Answer, have I re- 
ceived imto my Prayers, for the Restoration and Confirma- 
tion of my Health! I have now preach'd a Sermon, every 
day, for five Dayes together. One of them (yesterday) 
was to the Prisoners, and Pyrates on Jer. 17. 11. Hee getts 
Riches and not by right; leaves them in the midst of his Dayes, 
and in his End shal be a Fool. And these Labours, do not 
oversett mee: tho' indeed they afford one Reason, for my 
recording so little in these Memorials. 

' "From Heaven Hee told mee sol" Written in the margin. 

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332 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

Memorandum: I am following the Lord, with hopeful 
Prayers and Cries, that the Time of Temptation, begun 
upon this place in the Business of the new Church may 
not prove a Day of Temptation, but only a short Hour of 
Temptation. 

And now I have an Opportunity to observe a Matter 
the Issue whereof, will in a while, call for some further 
Observation. 

The people of the new Church in Boston, who by their 
late Manifesto, so assaulted all the Churches of New Eng- 
land went on in an ill way, and in a worse Frame, and the 
Town was filled with Sin, and especially, with Slanders, 
(for grievous Revolts must be managed with Slanders,) wherein 
especially my Father and myself were Sufferers. Wee two, 
with many Prayers and Studies, and with humble Resig- 
nation of our Names unto the Lord, prepared a faithful 
Antidote for our Churches against the Infection of the 
Example, which wee fear'd this Company had given them; 
and wee putt it into the Press. But when the first Sheet 
was near composed at the Press, I stop'd it, with a Desire, 
to make one Attempt more, for the bringing of this People 
to Reason. I drew up a Proposal, and \\'ith another Min- 
ister carried it imto them; who at first rejected it, but after- 
ward so far embrac'd it, as to promise, that they will the 
next Week, publickly recognize their Covenant with God, 
and one another, and therewithal declare their Adherence 
to the Heads of Agreement, of the United Brethren in England, 
and request the Communion of our Churches on that Founda- 
tion. A wonderful Joy fill'd the Hearts of our good People, 
far and near, that wee had obtained thus much from them. 
Our Strife seem'd now at an End; there was much Relent- 
ing in some of their Spirits, when they saw our Condescen- 
sion, our Charity, our Compassion. Wee overlook'd all past 
Offences. Wee kept the public Fast with them, (on 31 d. 
II m. Wednesday) and my Father preached unto them, 
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FEBRUARY, 1699-1700 333 

on Jollowing Peace with Holiness, and I concluded with 
Prayer.' 

Being in so sudden, and surprising a Manner delivered 
from the horrid Encumbrance and Vexation of our Strife, 
with these Neighbours, wee laid aside what was in the Press; 
resolving in a more comfortable, and I hope, effectual Way, 
to endeavour the Establish[ment of our] Churches, in their 
Principles of 'Ev[eaten away]. 

8 d. 12 m. [February.] Thursday. Considering that for 
Men, even, good Men, to speak Evil one of another, is 
the special Vice of this Place, I thought it would bee 
a very comprehensive and considerable Service, if I could 
give any notable Stroke, towards the Suppression of that 
Vice. 

Wherefore, in the first Place, I renewed my own Resolu- 
tions, in the Strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His 
good Spirit of Grace. 

First, that I will never speak falsely of any Man. 

Secondly, that if I must speak what is Evil, of any man, 
it shall be imder these Limitations, and Regulations. 

I. I will keep a Charity for the Person of whom I speak 
wishing most heartily, that all Good might be spoken of 
him; and I will speak from Charity for those to whom I 
speak; alwayes thinking when I speak, is what I speak, for 
the Good of the Hearers I 

II. If I speak what is Evil of any Person, I will care- 
fully watch over my Heart, that I don't speak it with 
Delight: I will ever manage it, with Brevity, and Aversion, 
as a very ungrateful Subject. 

III. When I must speak what is Evil of any man, if I 
know of any Good, that can bee spoken of him, I will be 
sure to ballance the Evil, with the Mention of the Good. 

rV. Before I speak Evil of a Man, I will consider, 
whether I should not first speak to him; and be it how it 

' See the entries in Sewall, Diary, 11. 2, and in Hill, i. 313. 

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334 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

will, I will ordinarily speak nothing, but what I could be 
content he were present at my speaking of it. 

V. I will aggravate nothing, and when I speak of an 
EvU, not go to make it worse than it is. 

Oh, my Lord Jesus Christ, I resign my Speech, unto the 
Possession and Management of thy Holy Spirit, that I may 
keep these Rules forever. 

I cannot express the Satisfaction and Serenity of Soul, 
which I have already found in keeping them. 

I now sett myself, to recommend these and such Things 
at the Lecture; but the extreme Coldness of the Season, 
hindred my dispatching of my Design in one Discourse.' I 
beleeve, this was of the Lord, that so, I may with a greater 
Enlargement, and a greater Assembly and a greater Efficacy, 
at some other time further proceed upon it. I am verily 
perswaded, the Lord will be remarkably present with mee 
in what I have to do.^ 

' Sewall speaks of the cold season. "Febr. 6, 7, 8, were reputed to be the 
coldest days that have been of many years. Some say Brooks were frozen for carts 
to pass over them, so as has not been seen these Ten years." Diary, n. s- He 
also tells of Cotton Mather's taking as his text on January 1 1, "White as the Snow 
of Salmon." 

' Some leaves of this year's diary have been torn away. 



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1700 

THE XXXVIIlTH YEAR. 

Nimquid non Tentatio Humana vita super Te. 

Quonam meo fato p. c. fieri dicam, ut nemo his Annis 
Viginti Reip. Hostis fuerit, qui non Bellum eodem Tem- 
pore mihi quoque indixerit? 

Cicer. Philippic Secimd. [i. i.]. 

Ab Amico Satis Adulatore. 

on 

Cotton Mather. 

For Grace and Act and an Illustrious Fame I 

Who would not look from such an Ominous Name, j 
Where Two Great Names their Sanctuary take, \ 
And in a Third combined, a Greater make I 

j Too gross Flattery for me to Transcribe; (the' the 
Poetty_be^ood. [He has struck out the four lines, but in 
such a manner as permits them to be easily read.] 

THE XXXVIIlTH YEAR OF MY AGE. 

12 d. 12 m. 1699. Monday. Geilerus in an old Calender, 

where he had noted several Things, did upon his Birth-day, 

write that Motto, Dies Calamitatis. Altho' I have seen 

much Calamity in the world, yett I will not write the least 

Syllable, that shall complain of my Birth as a Calamity; for 

the precious Opportunities of glorifying the Lord Jesus 

Christ, whereto I see myself born, abundantly make amends 

for aU my Calamities, and cause mee to rejoice that ever I 

was born. 

[335I 
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336 DIARY OF COTTON MATHEE 

The Compassion of Heaven, this Day consununates the 
thirty-seventh Year of my Age. .1 am not fond of keeping 
my Birth-day, lest I fall into a Superstition, and tho' 1 find 
some Exemples indeed for keeping such a Day, yett some of 
them were not the most encouraging. 

However, I did this Day particularly address the Lord 
with Praises, for the Favours of the Year past and, with 
Prayers for the Pardon of the Sins in that Year and, for 
preserving, supplying, and supporting Mercy in the Year 
to come. 

And the Wednesday, following I sett apart for Prayer 
with Fasting, to obtain with larger Supplications the Par- 
don, and the Mercy, which I had been seeking two Dayes 
before. On this Day likewise I visited a Meeting of the 
Faithful, to whom I preached a Sermon on those words, 
Luk. 13. 8. Lord, lett it alone this Year also. 

I must, with some Sadness of Reflection observe it, 
that my Devotions of late have had such a Drowsiness upon 
them, as to make mee fear, lest some Afl^ctions be near 
mee, to rouse mee out of my drowsy Frame. 

And, behold, my Fear comes to pass. 

For, on Friday this week, my only and lovely Son, a 
Son given to mee in answer to many Prayers among the 
People of God, and a Son of much Observation and Expec- 
tation, was taken with Convulsion-Fits. The Lord now not 
only called mee, but also helped mee, to resign my Son unto 
Him. Nevertheless, that I might more effectually conform 
to the Dispensations of Heaven, when I saw an Angel of 
Death, with a drawn Sword thus over my Family, I thought 
it my Duty to betake myself unto more than ordinary 
Supplications. Wherefore, altho' I have already kept one 
Day of Prayer with Fasting this week, yett on Satureday 
I kept another. I then heartily and cheerfully gave away 
my Son, unto the Lord Jesus Christ, professing, that if the 
Child may not be a Servant of His, I was far from desiring 

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FEBRUARY, 1699-170O 337 

the Life of it; but, if the Child might serve Him exceed- 
ingly, I cry'd unto him, to speak for it, the Word, by which 
it might live. The Convulsions of the Child, follow'd it this 
Day, until a seventh Fitt had sorely shaken it. This caused 
mee, in my Study, thrice to repair unto the Prayer-hearing 
Lord, with this, as the special Errand, of the Addresses, 
(besides what I did in other Addresses,) Father, if it may be, 
lett the Cup (the funeral Cup for this my Son) pass from mee; 
Yett not my Will, hut thine be done. Towards the Evening, 
the Convulsions left the Child. 

2$d.X2m. Lords-Day. If I had not a very earthly Heart, 
how much might I live in Heaven, while on Earth! Such 
are the Concerns of my Ministry, that this Afternoon, 
between one a Clock and seven, I address Heaven with 
Prayers, no less than ten several Times. First, there is my 
secret Prayer in my Study, relating to the Church of God, 
and the Coming and Kingdome of Christ, and the great 
Sabbatises, for which I sett apart some Time, every Lord's- 
Day-Noon. Then there is my secret Prayer, before my 
public Labour and relating to it. Then there is my Prayer 
before the Sermon in the Congregation. There follow, at 
the Baptism, two Prayers. Another Prayer is made with 
the Church, who stay to receive the Accounts of them that 
are Candidates for our Communion. Family-prayer, with 
Repitition is performed, when I come home. And secret 
Prayer. And in visiting two sick Persons, two Prayers 
more, are called for. 

1700. 

I am at this Time assaulted with some very particular 
Temptations. I, and yett not I, but the Grace of God which 
was with mee, have newly done a Service of some conse- 
quence to all our Churches, by pubUshing, A Warning to 
the Flocks against Wolves in Sheeps Clothing. The Devices 
of Satan whereby the Welfare of our churches, is exceed- 

1-22 

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338 DIAEY OF COTTON MATHER 

ingly threatned, are, I hope, effectually and eternally 
defeated, by this little Book, and the Holy Lord Jesus 
Christ, is glorified. Satan being exceedingly enraged at 
what I have done, stirs up a wonderful Storm of Clamour 
and Slander against mee, from a numerous Crue in this 
Town, which (tis astonishing!) are not able to bear the 
Detection of the Folly, they discovered in following one 
of the Itnposters, and the remarkable Story of whom, 
I have laid before the Churches. And the Venome of 
that malignant Company, who have lately built a new 
Church in Boston disposes them to add imto the Storm of 
my present Persecution; for, it may bee, never had any 
men more of that Character of grievous Revolters, to bee 
walking with Slanders, than too many of that poor People 
have.' 

When I heard the Defaming of many, I thought it my 
Duty, to humble myself before the Lord, with extraordinary 
Supplications. I endeavoured it, on 

6 d. I m. [March.] Wednesday. On this Day, I laid 
before the Lord, the Reproaches, which I suffered, from 
abundance of impious People, for the Sake of my Faithful- 
ness to His Churches and Interests. 

I acknowledged myself to bee viler before Him, than any 
of my causeless and cruel Adversaries could make mee, 
when they reviled mee. And I gave exceeding Thanks unto 
Him, for His praeserving mee, from the Unhappiness of being 
made obnoxious to their Malice, by any real Blemish, whereof 
if they could gett the least Notice, how wonderfully would 
they aggravate it! 

I bewayled my many Miscarriages, for which the terrible 
Justice of God, might righteously and easily, make mee 
loathsome among all ffis people. And among the Rest, 

' "31 d. I m. [March.] Elizabeth Ryal, desiring to join unto the New Church 
in this Town, this Church declared themselves discharged from the Obliga- 
tions of the Covenant unto her." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the Second 
Church, II. 

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FEBRUARY, 1699-170O 339 

I confessed and bewayled, whatever Injuries, I may have 
done unto the Esteem of other Men. 

I cried imto the Lord, that Hee would support mee 
under all the Reproaches, which are cast upon mee; And 
refresh mee with the Divine Consolations of a Name written 
in Heaven, and precious among the heavenly Angels: And 
prevent my falling into any Errors of Impatience, by which 
the Divel might gain any of His Designs upon mee. And 
assist mee to learn all those Holy Lessons, that I should 
fetch out of the exercises now upon mee. 

I then did hiunbly committ my Name into the Hands 
of the Lord Jesus Christ; cheerfully declaring, that if Hee 
had no Occasion for my Name, I had none for it myself; 
and that if it were for His Honour, for my Name to be 
reproached, I did freely resign it. But I besought of the 
Lord, that for the Sake of the Reproaches which my Lord 
Jesus Christ underwent for mee, I might bee delivered 
from all Reproaches, that might be a Disadvantage unto 
mee, in my glorifying of His Name, which to do is indeed, 
all my Salvdcon and all my Desire. 

I also forgave all them that reproached mee, praying 
that the Lord would forgive them. 

And that I might the more agreeably exercise the Graces, 
whereto, I thought the Lord called mee, by the Reproaclies 
now upon mee, I singled out many Strokes, in many Psalms, 
(especially the 22d, the 27th, the 31st, the 35th, the 57th, the 
69th, the 109th, the 143d) which I kept singing unto the 
Lord, for a good Part of the Day. But my Faith rose not 
higher in any of these Devotions, than when singing the 
latter End of the 91st Psalm; and most of all that Clause, 
Because that known my Name hath hee, I will sett him on high. 

Another thing, which brought mee, on my Knees this 
Day before the Lord, is, that my lovely and only Son, is 
again the last Night arrested with Convulsions, and the 
Life of the Infant is exceedingly in Danger. 
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340 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

This morning, the Child received ahnost a miraculous 
Deliverance from Choaking, by a Pin, which he suck'd out 
of the silver Nipple of his Bottel, tho' wee know not how it 
came there. 

And when I was this Day (his Fitts being this Day, more 
violently than ever again returned upon him) resigning the 
Child imto the Lord, a strange Thing was from Heaven said 
unto mee: my Son shall yett live, and after this, my Faith 
was tried, by the Child's falling into more Conviilsions: 
but the Lord sent help from Heaven against them. 

But there was a further Petition, which I had this 
Day, to carry unto the Lord. It is represented unto mee, as 
if my Opportunities to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ, were like 
to bee much abridged and abated, if not almost wholly 
extinguished: that thro' the Energy, and Subtilty of Satan, 
Prejudices were like to prevail against mee, in the aposta- 
tizing Generation, unto such a Degree, as to take away almost 
all my Advantages of being serviceable: that whereas I had 
enjoy'd singular Advantages to do good, by the Way of the 
Press People were now prejudiced against mee for printing 
so many Books, and it wUl be necessary for mee to desist 
from the Printing of any more: 

For this cause, I now cast myself prostrate on my Study- 
floor, with my sinful Mouth, in the Dust before the Lord. 
I adored the Free-Grace, that had been display'd, in grant- 
ing such precious and matchless Opportunities of glorifying 
the Lord Jesus Christ, unto mee, that am on many Accounts 
the vilest Person in all New England. I bewayled the Sins 
which have attended mee, especially Vain-glory, in making 
use of my Opportunities. I confessed that it would be 
every way just, for Heaven to strip me of my Opportunities. 
But with Tears and strong Cries, I declared unto the Lord, 
that Hee knew, I had no Desire, no Delight, no Study 
comparable to that of glorifying my Lord Jesus Christ; I 
have chosen it as my very Heaven, and my All. I earnestly 
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MARCH, 1699-1700 341 

besought Him, that this Desire, which His own Spirit had 
produced in mee, might not bee defeated, and that I might 
not bee rejected from serving Him, in such Wayes as I had 
already served Him. It was now told mee from Heaven, 
that the Lord will yett make a great Use of mee, and that 
I shall have greater Opportunities to glorify my Lord Jesus 
Christ, than ever I had. 

16 d. I m. Satureday. This Day, I also sett apart for 
the Exercises of a secret Fast, before the Lord, on the 
same Occasions, that procured my being the last week so 
engaged. 

In the close of the Day, after black Dejections, and sore 
Discouragements, I cried unto the Lord, that before I 
broke off, Hee would give mee some Token of His accepting 
mee. I did with bitter Anguish of Soul confess unto the 
Lord, that if I should not be left unto all sort of Sin, and 
Misery, and Confusion, and be made the Astonishment of 
all the Churches, and be thrown in the most horrible Tor- 
ments of Hell after all, it would bee a very glorious, and 
marvellous Display of sovereign Grace! But how much more 
would the Sovereignty of Divine Grace be magnified, if such 
a Wretch as I am, one all over vile, should bee employ'd in 
eminent Services for the Lord Jesus Christ! Nevertheless, 
His Holy Spirit, had inclined mee, to make choice of this, 
as all my Salvation, and all my Desire. And now, it was 
again unto my weeping Soul assured from Heaven, that it 
shall not be denied unto mee. 

Behold, how the Lord is mercifully confuting my Fears 
of being imserviceable. 

Three young men, in our Neighbourhood, were drowned 
about this Time.' Observing the dreadful Judgments of 
God, on the young Men of New England, I preached a Ser- 
mon on this Occasion. The Sermon I give imto the Printers, 

> Robert Cunable, William Salter and Thomas Comer were drowned, and 
James Tileston saved. The party went gunning in a canoe. Sewall, Diary, n. 9. 

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342 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

publish it, under the Title of, Things that Young People 
SHOULD THINK UPON.' I am not without Hopes, that the 
Lord may make this little Book, more than a little ser- 
viceable. 

Yea I understand already that my Hopes have not 
herein deceived mee. 

Moreover, a Gentleman comes to mee, with a Desire, 
that I would write a Sheet upon the horrid Evil of debauch- 
ing the Indians, by selling Drink unto them; a Crime com- 
mitted by too many in the Countrey; a Crime fruitful in 
Wickedness and Confusion; I answered his Desire; and it 
is published under the Title of, A Monitory and Hortatory 
Letter, unto those English, who debauch the Indians, by selling 
strong Drink unto them. It seems, this Letter is like to do 
more good, that I at first imagined.^ 

3 J. 2 w. [April] Wednesday. This Day I spent in the 
Duties of a secret THANKSGIVING. The Occasions, 
and the Exercises, of this Day, were the same, that I have 
had heretofore. Only the peculiar Character of the Exer- 
cises which I this Day performed, was this. I considered 
the various and marvellous ANSWERS of PRAYERS, 
with which the Favours of God unto mee, had been sig- 
nalized. I adored the Wisdome, of God, in appointing 
PRAYER, to be the Method of obtaining and receiving His 
Favours, and the Goodness of God, in bestowing His Favours, 
as Answers unto Prayer. I bewayled before the Lord, the 
lamentable Defects of my own Prayers, both as to the 
Frequency of them, and as to the Fervency of them. I 
ascribed all the Successes of my Prayers wholly unto the 
Mediation, and Intercession of my Lord Jesus Christ. I 
gave Thanks unto the Holy Spirit, for teaching and helping 
mee to Pray: and in a special Manner, for the glorious and 
heavenly Operation of His, which had often produced the 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1700. 

' No printer's name is attached to this publication. 

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APRIL, 17 oo 343 

Divine Raptures of a particular Faith, in my Mind, when I 
have been pouring out my Soul in Prayer before Him. 
I proceeded then to consider, more particular 

ANSWERS of PRAYERS. 

In my being preserved from Sin, and advanced in Grace. 

In the undeserved Prolongation of my Life. 

In the unexpected Preser\'ation of my Health. 

In my arriving to the Employment of a Minister. 

In the miraculous Freedome of my Speech. 

In the vast Congregations, whereto I have had Oppor- 
tunities to dispense the Gospel. 

In the remarkable Assistences, which I have en joy 'd 
from time to time, in my Ministrations. 

In the PubUcation, and Acceptation which my many 
Writings have had, in both Englands. 

In my extraordinary Library, and the Possession of 
several thousands of Books. 

In a desireable Consort, given and spared, unto mee by 
the great Favour of the Lord. 

In three Daughters, and now at last, a Son; all of them 
wonderfidly recovered from the Jawes of Death. 

In a grown and a great Salary, and a comfortable Habi- 
tation. 

In a Reputation, preserved from ill Men, and embalmed 
with good Men. 

In Mercies obtained for others; especially the Sick, and 
many Captives; and Salvations to the Public, in Cries to 
Heaven, for which, I have been often, even with a particular 
Faith, concerned. 

By way of Return unto the Lord, for such Answers of 
Prayers, I resolved, with His Help, to bee more abundant, 
more diligent, and more enlarged, in my Prayers, than ever 
heretofore. 

Moreover, in the Close of this Day the Family-Meeting 
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344 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

of the Gentlemen in our Neighbourhood, came to be in 
Course at my House. I did therefore, without imparting 
unto them in the least, my present Employment, make the 
Devotions of the Meeting subservient unto the Designs of 
Thanksgiving which I was upon. I composed, and then 
imto them I uttered a Discourse on Psal. 138. 3. In the Day 
■when I cried, thou didst answer tnee: handling that Case, 
how a Christian should make a profitable Observation, of the 
Answers where with his Prayers are favoured ! 

4d. 2 m. Thursday. I will here enter an Observation. 

I was many wayes tired, and spent, and faint; especially 
with torturing Pains in my Head, which have diverse Dayes 
molested mee; (such as I have so often foimd praeludious 
imto my doing some special Service for my Lord Jesus 
Christ, that I cannot but have particiilar Thoughts about 
the Original of them.) I was this Day, to preach Boston- 
Lecture; but so extremely feeble, that I could not see, how 
1 should gett comfortably through it. 

But, thought I; the Work I am to do this Day, is in 
a very peculiar Marmer, to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ: 
I am to discourse, on the illustrious Points, wherein the 
Invitation of the Lord Jesus Christ, is to be endeavoured by 
a Christian, and therein to draw a charming Picture of that 
Holy and Glorious Lord. Now, certainly, when I am to 
praise, and serve my Lord Jesus Christ, my Lord Jesus 
Christ will help mee. His poor Servant, who depend wholly 
upon Him. His good Spirit, who deUghts to see Him glori- 
fied will, come and help mee; His good Angel will with 
Delight, come, and help mee. And if I find it so, then I 
shall bee assured, that there is a Christ, and that it is a 
good Thing to serve Him. 

On my knees in my Study, before my going abroad, I had 

a strange Particular Faith of this matter. And now, when 

I come to my public Services, I felt a wonderful Force from 

Heaven, strengthening, and assisting, and enlarging of mee. 

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APRIL, 17 OO 345 

I cannot express, the heavenly Efl&cacy, that I felt irradiating 
of mee, and inspiring a powerful Vigour into my Ministra- 
tions. The vast Assembly, which were come together, saw, 
that the Lord was with mee of a Truth. 

Now, O my Soul, feed, feed upon these Experiences! 

lod. 2 m. My httle and lovely and only Son is visited 
with a Return of Convulsions, which greatly threaten his 
Life. Diverse Convulsions do this Day particularly shake 
our Hopes of the Child's Continuance with us. But, as I 
was in the Afternoon, with Distress crying to the Lord for 
the Child, it was told mee from Heaven, that the Child 
should yett live.^ 

12, d. 2 m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day for the 
Exercises of a secret Fast; Exercises indeed, very poorly 
managed. Nothing of any Consequence for mee to remem- 
ber, occurr'd in the Day. Only that, when I was at Prayer 
with my Family, I had my Heart strangely melted with 
Assurances, that the Lord has great Blessings in store for my 
Family. 

14 d. 2 m. Lord's-day. At the Lord's Table, I foimd my 
Heart strangely transported, with a Meditation of this 
Importance. 

I not only desire to make the Imitation of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, the very Character of my Life: but there is a further 
Article of Resemblance to Him, whereto I desire to aspire 
exceedingly. This Town and Land, has in it, many People, 
that are full of Enmity, to the Interests of the Lord Jesus 
Christ; and if Hee were on Earth again, as once He was, 
Hee would be persecuted with wonderful Malignity from 
vast Nimibers of people, that now go by the Name of 
Christians. By my Faithfulness to the Interests of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and of Holiness, and of that Holy Evangelical 
Church-state, which He would have to be mentained, I can- 
not but expose myself, to a deal of raging and railing Malig- 

' A line that follows is struck out. 

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346 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

nity. Well, if now I find myself hated, by them that hate 
the Lord Jesus Christ, or that hate what is loved by the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and if the Reproaches of them, that would 
reproach Him, fall upon mee, I will triumph in all such Con- 
formity to Him, as being indeed good for me, and in these 
my Sufferings, as being really my Honours, and my Spirit 
will gloriously rejoice in God my Saviour. 

When I was thus thinking, it was powerfully sett home 
upon my Heart, that I have in this Disposition, an infallible 
Symptome, that my Lord Jesus Christ will ere long fetch 
me away to heavenly Glory, and that He will glorify me with 
Himself world without End. 

Memorandum. The Convulsions upon my little Son 
after some Respite, now return upon him. There seems 
very much Danger in the Case. But in my Prayers before 
the Lord, on this Occasion, I am assured from Heaven, that 
the Child shall outlive the Danger. 

21 d. 2 OT. Lords-Day. May I make an humble and 
thankful Mention of the Divine Favour to mee, the Chief 
of Sinners? Lett me be encouraged in contriving and labour- 
ing to do good continually. I shall at some Time or other 
see the Fruit of it. 

This Day, my Barber was admitted into the Communion 
of my Church. But he gave the Church this Account, that 
his Attending upon mee, and my continual Dropping of 
Counsils, and Warnings, and Lessons upon him, was the 
great Means of his Conversion unto God. • 

This Day, my Servant, was offered unto the Communion 
of my Church. But in the Account that she gave to the 
Church of her Conversion, she Declared her living in my 
Family to have been the Means of it, and that she should 
forever bless God for bringing her under my Roof.' 
j Others of my Servants formerly (and almost all that ever 

' Daniel Sowtcr and Stephen Arnold were admitted on this day. 
' Sara Winslcy. 

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APRIL, 1700 347 

lived with me,) have joined unto my church, while they 
have Uved with mee; and blessed God for their Living in 
my poor sinful Family. 

25 </. 2 OT. Thursday. This Day was kept as a pubHc 
Fast, thro' the Province. I thought it was intimated unto 
me from Heaven this Day, that a terrible Thing is going to 
be done upon England: And, that a wonderful Thing shall 
yett be done upon France. 

Memorandum. I feared my Opportunities to be ser- 
viceable, were by the Devices of Satan, brought unto an End. 
This poor Man cried unto the Lord, and the Lord from 
Heaven told mee, that He would yett employ me wonder- 
fully, in service for Him. Well, I find my Opportunities, 
to grow so fast upon mee, that I have hardly Strength and 
Health enough, to answer them. For, besides my preach- 
ing to very great Congregations every Lord's-Day at Home, 
I am continually solUcited, for the emitting of Composures 
to do good abroad. As I dispatch them, I may record 
something of them. 

In this Place, I will only record, that a Gentleman comes 
to mee, with Desires, that I would write a pastoral Letter 
unto the Indians; apprehending, that it will be greatly 
considered among them: and he will be at the Expence for 
its being translated and published. Accordingly, I com- 
posed an Address to the Indians, comprising the Sum of the 
glorious Things Reveled unto them in the Gospel; and the 
Godly Things which the Lord Jesus Christ expected from 
them; and the Snares and Sins whereof they were most in 
Danger: and the most pimgent Considerations to awaken 
them unto a Sense of their Duty and Interest. It is 
entituled: An Epistle unto the Christian Indians.* 

And now, the next thing that I have to record, is, that 
I had no sooner finished, a Discourse for the Lecture, against 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Alien, 1700. The title states it was written at 
the desire of " an English Magistrate." 

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348 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

the Sins of Evil-Speaking, but on the Evening before I 
preached it, I received a Letter from one in Barmudaz, 
desiring mee, to compose and publish a Discourse, upon the 
Sins of Evil Speaking, and very particularly on those Errors, 
which are contrary to the, Yea, Yea, Nay, Nay, required by 
our Lord Jesus Christ in our Communication; and inform- 
ing mee, that he had sent Money to pay for the Impression. 
Surprized at this Providence, I gave my Discourse unto the 
Bookseller, adding another unto it, that so I might fully 
come at the Sins of the Tongue, with a Cure for them. 
Accordingly, it is published, imder the Title of, The Good 
Linguist, or. Directions to avoid the Sins of the Tongue. And 
the wonderful Work of God, in restoring, and enlarging of 
my once-fettered Speech, is a Consideration that much 
quickens mee, to do this Work, as an Expression of my 
Gratitude unto Him, who has opened my Lips, that my 
Mouth may shew forth His Praise. 

Memorandum. The terrible Convulsions, which threaten 
the Life of my little, and lovely Son, do now grow to that 
Extremity, as to render his Cure little short of desperate: 
all Means, and Hopes do fail. But when I am carrying 
and resigning the Child unto the Lord, I have it strangely 
assured me from Heaven, that the Child shall recover. The 
good Angel of the Lord has told me so! 

II d. im. [May] Saturcday. This Day I am with Afflic- 
tion of Soul, thro' Fasting, at Prayer, in secret before the 
Lord. 

The Blessing of Heaven, on my Family; and especially 
my little Son, who is Visited with some Return of his Ill- 
ness; I this day obtained. 

The Blessing of Heaven, on my Ministry; especially my 
Composures going to the Press, and my Sermon, at the next 
Election ; I this Day also obtained. 

I obtained likewise an Assurance from Heaven, that 
something shall befal the disorderly Society of Innovators 

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MAY, 1700 349 

(now causing much Temptation and Iniquity in the Place,) 
that shall confirm these Churches in the right Wayes of the 
Lord. 

Finally, prostrate on my Study-floor, in the Evening, 
I obtained Assurance of the Lord, that the Spirit of my 
Lord Jesus Christ, will yett marvellously fill mee, and 
I shall be employ'd in eminent Services for His glorious 
Name. 

After I had written these Things, Matters fell out a little 
odly. Our Govemour, the Earl of Bellonwnt, on the Monday 
following, proposed, that (tho' the Representatives of the 
Province, had at their last Session desired, that instead of 
a Sermon on the Day of the Anniversary Election, there 
might be only the usual weekly Lecture held on the day fol- 
lowing, and preached by the Minister, to whom the Lecture 
fell in Course,) there might be a Sermon according to the 
ancient Custome at the Opening of the General Court, and 
that such a Minister, as hee then (upon a particular Fancy) 
named, might preach it. The few Counsellours then present, 
opposed it not; and so, the Secretary sent unto that Min- 
ister, to attend the Service expected. My Prayers and 
Thoughts about my Lecture on the Day after the Election, 
were now strangely putt by; (the Lecture itself, as weU as 
the Preacher of it, being laid aside.) I wondred, what should 
be the meaning of this Thing. But retired immediately, 
and with cheerfulness resigned all my Opportunities of 
Glorifying my Lord Jesus Christ, into His glorious Hands; 
and requested of the Lord, that if He directed the Minister, 
who was desired, instead of mee, then to preach, for to 
answer the Desire, Hee would graciously and mightily assist 
that Minister, to bring more Honour unto my Lord Jesus 
Christ, than I should have done. I had then a secret Appre- 
hension, that the Lord was only writing a Sentence of Death 
upon my Opportunity to serve Him, in the Presence and 
Audience of my whole Countrey, that it might arrive to me. 
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350 DIARY OF COTTON MATHEE 

in the issue, with more significant Circumstances. Accord- 
ingly, it came to pass; the Minister applied unto, found him- 
self unable to do, what was ask'd of Him; and the Govemour 
applied himself unto mee; making His Excuses, that he was 
utterly ignorant of my having been [called] to preach on the 
Day after the Election, when his Curiosity, to hear one he 
had never heard, led him, to ask another to preach on 
the Day itself. Wherefore he now told mee, that Hee, and 
the Council must come to mee for it: Which they did. 
And I thereupon prepared a Discourse, to bespeak of my 
Countrey, our hearty Praises imto God, for His matchless 
Favours unto us. 

Memorandum. About this Time, some of those who 
had been the scandalous Disciples and Abettors of that 
horrid Impostor, who went from hence the last Winter, did 
receive Letters from him in London: where, t'was thought, 
by many, he would have been so conceled, that wee should 
never have heard further from him. Hereupon, those 
bewitched Creatures, began a new Storm of Railing, and 
Raving against me, for my Scourging that Theef, out of the 
Temple. But I patiently committed the matter unto the 
Lord; entreating Him, that I might yett hear and see some- 
thing, that should give yett more Confusion unto these my 
Adversaries. 

25 c?. 3 w. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, for Prayer 
with Fasting in my study; to obtain the Blessings of God 
on my Ministry, and Family: and particularly, to obtain 
His Presence with mee, in m>' Sermon the next Week, at the 
Opening of the Great and General Assembly. As also, to 
recomend unto the Divine Compassion, the Condition of 
the sick Ministers in the Countrey: especially, the holy and 
humble, Mr. Nch. Hohart. 

Not forgetting my several special Temptacons, which 
call for continual Cries to Heaven. 

This Day, considering, that it might prove a great Ser- 

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MAY, 1700 35^ 

vice unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and His faithful Ministers, 
and His Churches and Interests; I composed a Letter, 
which I directed unto the People, that Sin against, and Sin 
away the Gospel, by not supporting the worthy Preachers 
of the Gospel, as they ought to be supported. Herein, I 
not only expostulated the Case, of Peoples' Cheating and 
Starving their Ministers (which they horribly do,) with 
somewhat of Pungency, but I also with some Artifice, inter- 
wove Passages, that might render the Ministers themselves 
more deserving Persons, than, it may be, some of them 
are. I entituled it, A Monitory Letter concerning the 
Maintainance of Able and Faithful Ministers. And I gave 
it unto a Gentleman in my Neighbourhood, who is at the 
Charge of printing it, with particular Methods, to disperse 
it into all Parts of the Coimtrey.' 

28 d. 3 m. Tuesday. I sett apart this Day, for solemn 
Thanksgiving unto the Lord in secret Places. 

Especially, to glorify the Lord, for the precious Oppor- 
tunities that the Lord hath given me to glorify Him. 
Nothing remarkable occurr'd. 

Memorandum. That vile Lnpostor, whose fascinated 
Followers have been my outrageous Enemies, and Revilers, 
always told us, that he had been brought up imder one Mr. 
John Earle, the worthy Minister of Gosporte, and show'd us 
a Certificate sign'd as by that Minister. This Day, I receive 
diverse Letters from England, which detect that Impostor; 
and one especially from that Mr. John Earle, who denies 
that ever he knew a Man, that went by the Name of Sam. 
May; but then he adds, this Fellowes true Name, was, Sam. 
Axel; and he was a Brick-maker, and after detection in 
Immoralities, was gone out of England; and he left a Wife 
and Family in deplorable Circimistances there, (bringing it 
seems a whore with him hither, under the Name of a Wife !) 

In receiving this Letter, I received a marvellous Answer 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Alien, 1709. 

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352 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

of Prayer, The Arrival of it, was highly seasonable, and 
serviceable. 

29 d. 3 tn. Wednesday. After my prayers, and my Tears, 
and my raised Faith for it, prostrate on my Study-floor, I 
went forth; and preached unto His Excellency, the Coun- 
cil, and the Representatives, a Sermon, on the Matchless 
Favours of God unto my Countrey. 

Afterwards on this Day, and the day following, I was 
instrumental, to do several Services, for the Safety and 
Welfare of the Churches, in the Assembly of Ministers now 
convened. 

Moreover, having on the aimiversary Day of our Elec- 
tion, bespoke the hearty Praises of my Coimtrey unto the 
Lord, for His matchless Favours, I besought the Lord, that 
Hee would manifest His Acceptance of my Desires to glorify 
Him, in this Essay, by making it accepted among His People, 
and bringing about such a Publication of it, that my Coun- 
trey may further consider it. 

Immediately, the House of Representatives, voted me 
Thanks for my Sermon, and the Publication of it found 
Encouragement among them. 

So I gave it unto the Bookseller. It is entituled, A 
Pillar of Gratitude. I appendiced unto it, an account 
of the Fate and great Success of the Gospel in the East- 
Indies.^ 

^d. 4 m. [June.] Tuesday. Being sent by the Neighbour- 
ing Ministers, I went unto the House of Representatives, 
and made a Speech unto them, relating to the Methods of 
procuring a Settlement for the Colledge which is now lan- 
guishing. I pen'd my Speech, before I spoke it, and giving 
the Clerk of the House, a Copy of it, when I had spoke it, 
it found much Acceptance, and was of no little Consequence. 

8 d. 4 m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day for Prayer, 
with Fasting, in my Study. Especially on two occasions. 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1700. The day of election was May ag. 

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JUNE, 1700 3S3 

First, I this Day putt up my Church-History, and pen 
down Directions about the publishing of it. It is a work of 
near 300 sheets; and has lain by me, diverse Years, for want 
of a fitt Opportunity to send it. A Gentleman, just now 
sailing for England, imdertak.es the care of it; and by his 
Hand I send it for London. 

O my Lord Jesus Christ, lett thy Good Angels accom- 
pany it! 

Secondly, The General Assembly, have before them, 
the Case of the Colledge; upon which will turn or fall my 
Fathers Voyage to England. That has been a Point of 
Particular Faith, marvellously circimistanced. 

Lord, Lord, give a good Issue to it. 

12 d. 4 OT. Wednesday. This Day, the Lord so strength- 
ened mee, that I rode unto Newiown, about nine Miles off, 
and preached and pray'd, with a Flock, that kept a Fast, 
for the Recovery of their worthy Minister now sick, and I 
returned home in the Evening. 

16 d. 4 m. Lords-Day. 1 am going to relate, one of the 
most astonishing Things, that ever befel me, in all the Time 
of my Pilgrimage. 

A Particular Faith, hath been unaccountably produced, 
in my Father's Heart, and in my own, That God will carry 
him into England, and there give him a short, but great 
Opportvmity, to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, before his 
Entrance into the heavenly Kingdome. 

There appears no Possibility of my Fathers going 
thither, but in an Agency, to obtain a Charter for our Col- 
ledge. This Matter having been for several Years upon 
the very Point of being carried, in the General Assembly, 
hath strangely miscarried, when it hath come to the Birth. 
It is now again before the Assembly, in Circumstances, 
wherein, if it succeed not, it is never like to be revived and 
resumed any more. Sundry Times, many Times, when I 
have been lately spreading the Case before the Lord, with 
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354 DIARV OF COTTON MATHER 

a Faith triumphantly exercised on His Power, and Wisdome, 
and Goodness, I have had my Assurances, that my Father 
shall yett glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in England, renewed 
unto my Amazement. 

But the Matter, in the Assembly being likely now to 
come unto nothing, I was this Day in extreme Distress of 
Spirit concerning it. My Flesh indeed would be on all 
Accounts imaginable against my Father's Removal from 
mee : It will doubtless plunge mee into ten thousand Incon- 
veniencies. But my Faith on the other side, having been 
so supematurally raised for it, the Thoughts of that's being 
wholly disappointed, were insupportable. 

After I had finished all the other Duties of the Day, 
I did in my Distress, cast myself prostrate on my Study- 
floor before the Lord. There I acknowledged my own 
manifold and horrible Sinfulness, and my Worthiness by 
reason of that Sinfulness to be putt off with Delusions, and 
have a Serpent given to mee, when I ask'd and look'd for 
the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, I that am Dust, and Ashes, 
and worthy to be made so by Fire from Heaven, crav'd 
Leave to plead with Heaven, concerning the Matter of the 
Particular Faith, which had been wrought in my Mind, as I 
thought, by the Lord's own holy Operation. I pleaded, 
that my Lord Jesus Christ had invested me with His 
own glorious Righteousness, and was now making Inter- 
cession for me in the Holy of Holies; and because of His 
Interest there, I might approach to the most High God, 
with humble Boldness, as to a prayer-hearing Lord. I 
spred before Him the Consequences of Things; and the 
present Posture and Aspect of them; and having told the 
Lord, that I had alwayes taken a particular Faith, to be a 
Work of Heaven on the minds of the Faithful: but if it 
should prove a Deceit, in that remarkable Instance, which 
was now the Cause of my Agony, I should be cast into a 
most wonderful Confusion: I then beg'd of the Lord, that 
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JUNE, 1700 3SS 

if my particular Faith about my Father's Voyage to Eng- 
land, were not a Delusion, He would please to renew it 
upon mee. 

All this while, my Heart had the Coldness of a Stone 
upon it, and the Straitness that is to be expected from the 
bare Exercise of Reason. But now all on the Sudden, I 
felt an inexpressible Force to fall on my Mind; an Afflattts 
that cannot be described in words; none knowes it, but he that 
has it; if an Angd from Heaven had spoken it articulately 
to me, the Communication would not have been more 
powerful and perceptible. It was told mee, that the Lord 
Jesxis Christ, lov'd my Father, and lov'd me, and that Hee 
took Delight in us, as in two of His faithful Servants; and 
that Hee had not permitted us to be deceived in our Par- 
ticular Faith; but that my Father should be carried into 
England, and there glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, before 
his passing into Glory and that there shall be illustrious 
Revenues of Praise to the Lord Jesus Christ, from our 
Particular Faith about this Concern; and that I shall also 
live to see it; and that a Sentence of Death shall be written 
on the Effect, and Success of our Particular Faith, but the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who raises the Dead, and is the Resurrec- 
tion and the Life, shall give a new Life unto it; Hee mil do 
it, Hee will do it I 

Having left a Flood of Tears, fetch'd from me by these 
Rayes from the invisible World, on my study-floor, I rose 
and went unto my Chair. There I took up my Bible, and 
the first place that I opened, was at Act. 27. 23, 24, 25. 
There stood by me the Angel of God, whose I am, and whom 
I serve: saying. Fear not, thou must be brought before Casar: 
I beleeve God, that it shall be even as it was told mee. A 
new Flood of Tears immediately gush'd from my flow- 
ing Eyes; and I broke out, into these Expressions; 
"What! Shall my Father yett appear before Ccesar? Has 

an Angel from Heaven told me so? And must I beleeve 

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356 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

what has been told mee! Well then; it shall be so; it 
shall be so! ' 

And now what shall I say. When the affayr of my 
Father's Agency after this, came to a turning Point in the 
Court, it strangely miscarried: All came to nothing! Some 
of our Tories, had so wrought upon the Govemour, that tho' 
he had first moved this matter, and had given us also both 
Directions and Promises about it, yett he now (not without 
base imhandsomeness) deserted it. The Lt. Govemour, 
who had formerly been for it, now (not without great Ebul- 
htions of unaccountable Praejudice, and Ingratitude,) ap- 
peared with all the httle Tricks, imaginable to confound it. 
It had, for all this, been carried, had not some of the Coun- 
cil been inconveniently call'd off, and absent. But now, 
the whole Affayr of the Colledge, was left imto the Manage- 
ment of the E. of Bellomont. So that aU Expectation of a 
Voyage for my Father into England on any such Occasion, 
is utterly at an End. 

What shall I make of this wonderful Matter? Wait ! Wait! 

There have been several Customes in my Life, which 
upon Reflection I find, I have not inserted, either at the 
Time when I first of all took them up, nor at any other 
Time. And yett it may be a httle instructive to my Son, 
if I leave some Hint concerning some of them; which I may 
do as well in this Place, perhaps as in another, and bring in 
here, a small collection of Paralipomena, under the Head of 
Methods of pressing after Piety. 

From my Youth, it has been my Frequent, my Daily 
practice, to make occasional Reflections, or, from Occasions 
which I have seen in Occurrences before me, to raise Thoughts 
of Piety, and these mostly by finding Similitudes to assist 
and excite such Thoughts in those Occurrences. 

' Mather proposed to publish a sheet exhorting masters to labor for the con- 
version of their slaves, but he did not carry out his intention. Sewall, at this time, 
put forth his 5c//i»{ of Josef h, Diary, 11. 16. 

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JULY, 1700 357 

These occasional Reflections do not only serve me very 
commonly, to carry on useful Conferences, made savoury 
with some little sort of Witt, when I am in Company; but 
they are also a delightful Entertainment imto me, when I 
am alone. 

But at length, I saw, I had one Opportimity every Day 
for such occasional Reflections, as it might not be amiss for 
me, to oblige myself, rarely to lett pass me, without them. 

I was once emptying the Cistern of Nature, and making 
Water at the Wall. At the same Time, there came a Dog, 
who did so too, before me. Thought I; "What mean, and 
vile Things are the Children of Men, in this mortal State! 
How much do our natural Necessities abase us, and place us 
in some regard, on the same Level with the very Dogs!" 

My Thought proceeded. "Yett I will be a more noble 
Creature; and at the very Time, when my natural Neces- 
sities debase me into the Condition of the Beast, my Spirit 
shall (I say, at thai very Time I) rise and soar, and fly up, 
towards the Employment of the Angel." 

Accordingly, I resolved, that it should be my ordinary 
Practice, whenever I step to answer the one or other Neces- 
sity of Nature, to make it an Opportimity of shaping in my 
Mind, some holy, noble, divine Thought; usually, by way of 
occasional Reflection on some sensible Object which I either 
then have before me, or have lately had so: a Thought that 
may leave upon my Spirit, some further Tincture of Piety I 

And I have done according to this Resolution! 

Be sure, the loathsome and filthy Nature of Sin, and the 
Method of Deliverance from it, must make an Article, in 
some Thousands of Thoughts, on these Occasions. 

4 (f. 5 w. [July\ Thursday. This Day, in a very great 
Assembly of Ministers, the Lord helped me, in a large 
Speech, to bear my Testimony, against the Attempts now 
afoot in the Countrey, to unhinge our Churches, and subvert 
and confound the Order for the Gospel in them. 
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358 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

On this Occasion, I saw, to my Sorrow, that there was 
hardly any but my Father, and myself, to appear with 
any Strength of Argument, or Fortitude, in Defence of 
our invaded Churches. Wherefore, I thought I must cry 
mightily unto the Lord, that He would mercifully direct me, 
and protect me, in all my feeble, but faithful. Endeavours to 
serve Him; and that He would particularly furnish me with 
Patience, to undergo all the Obloquy, whereto my Fidelity 
to His Interests may expose me, in an evil Generation, and 
preserve me from all the Devices of Satan ever to blast 
me with Reproaches, that may at all incapacitate me for 
eminent Serviceableness. 

I also thought, that if it be the Purpose of Heaven, that 
the Apostasy shall go on, they that will vigorously and sig- 
nificantly stand in the Way of that Apostasy, may be in 
danger of a Stroke from the Angel of Death, that so a Way 
may he made for the Anger of God. But then, I resolved 
that I would not from this Consideration; abate of my 
Oppositions, to the sinful Degeneracy, No, I will oppose 
it, tho' it cost me my Life! Hereupon, the Lord sent into 
my Spirit a sweet Meditation, and Consolation, that my 
Life, which I am thus willing to venture, shall the rather be 
prolonged; and my Name, which I thus cast overboard, shall 
be the more precious in the Churches of the Lord. 

However, I thought it my Duty and Interest, now to 
spread, my own Case, with that of the Churches, before the 
Lord, in extraordinary Supplications. And therefore, 

6d. $m. Satureday. I Sett apart this Day, for Prayer 
with Fasting, in my Study. 

And on this Day, besides the other Matters of Prayer, I 
had this to insist upon; that my Church-History now upon 
the Waters, may be preserved, prospered, pubUshed, 
accepted and serviceable among the Churches of the Lord. 

In the following Week, a sore Trial came upon mee. 
The General Assembly now sitting, did with a wonderful 

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JULY, 17 oo 3S9 

Impetuosity, demand my Father's Removal of his personal 
Residence to Cambridge, inasmuch as they now renewed 
their choice of him, for Prsesident of the Coliedge there.* 
He left the Determination of the Matter, to the Vote of our 
Church; and our Church, by their Vote, tho' they continued 
his Relation to us, yett they allowed his Removal from us. 
There was a Coincidence of many things, to incline the 
Church imto such a Vote; but the cheef was, the Ferment 
and the Tumult of the Coimtrey, about the State of the too- 
corrupted Coliedge, and the Danger of its falling into ill 
Hands, if my Father should not have answered the Cry of 
the PubUck about it.' And it was the Apprehension of his 
best Friends, that if my Father had now declined going 
to Cambridge, the Clamour and Reproach of all the Land 
against him, would have been insupportable; he must have 
died with Infamy. 

My Father, upon the Vote of the Church, immediately, 
(the next week) hastens away, to reside at Cambridge. But 
I am now plunged into Distresses of two sorts. 

1 "July 10. Waited on Mr. Mather this day, at three in the Afternoon. I 
told him the Honor of Atbanasius, Maluit sedem quam Fidei syllabam mutare: 
Worthies of N. E. left their Houses in England, and came hither where there were 
none to preserve Religion in its Purity. Put him in mind how often' God had 
renewed his Call to this work which was to be consider'd. That [there] were 19 
in the Coundl, and [he] had every vote." Sewall, Diary, n. 18. 

'"lit/. 5 m. [July.] The Brethren of the Church, being assembled at the 
Desire of the Governor and the General Assembly, and Messengers from both 
Houses in the Assembly coming to them with a motion, that they would consent 
unto the removal of their Teacher's Residence to the CoUedge in Cambridge; 

"The ensuing Vote was passed. 

"Being under the sense of the great Benefit we have long enjoy'd by the 
Labours of our Rev'd Pastor, Mr. Increase Mather, among us, it must needs be 
imreasonable and impossible for us, to consent that his Relation to us, and our 
enjoyment of him and them should cease. 

"Nevertheless, the Respect we have to the Desire and Welfare of the publick, 
does compel us to consent, that our said Pastor may so remove his personal Residence 
to the Coliedge at Cambridge, as may be consistent with the continuance of his 
Relation to us, and his Visits of us with his publick Administrations, as often as 
his Health and Strength may allow it." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of the Second 
Church, n. 

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360 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

First, the strangely melancholy, and disconsolate, Con- 
dition of mind, which my Father has carried with him to 
Cambridge, (the place, which of all under Heaven, was most 
abominable to him,) fills me with Fear, what may be the 
Event. If he would be cheerful, all would be easy; but 
his Spirit is prodigiously unfram'd, unhing'd, and broken, 
and if the Lord be not very merciful to Him, the Name of 
the Lord Jesus Christ will suffer more Dishonour from his 
Uneasiness, than I am willing to see. Lord, rate off, and 
Chain up the Tempter, that falls upon my poor Father with 
such Molestations. 

Secondly. I am now left alone, in the Care of a vast 
Congregation, the largest in all these Parts of the World. 
I am afraid, lest now they grow foolish, and froward, and 
lest the Devices of Satan may some way or other prevail to 
scatter them, or lest some Distemper arise among them. 
And, I am feeble; and in this Town, I have many Enemies; 
indeed, all the Enemies of the evangeUcal Interests, are mine. 
I need a more than ordinary Prudence, and Patience; and 
the Defence of Heaven. 

On these distressing Occasions, I sett apart, 

20 d. 5 m. Satureday. for Prayer, with Fasting, in my 
Study. 

As also, that I might again solemnly commit into the 
Hands of my Lord Jesus Christ, my Church-History. 

Moreover, having seriously considered, how useful it 
might be, especially to some sorts of People, and wanting 
a little Book, to leave in the Families of my Neighbours, 
where I make my pastoral Visits, I was willing to give the 
Publick, a brief Discourse, demonstrating to Reason, the 
Truth of the Christian Religion, and how reasonable a thing 
tis, to conform unto the Praecepts of it, and what worse 
than hruitish Folly is discovered in Sinning against those 
Praecepts. Accordingly I gave such a Discourse vmto the 
Bookseller, under the Title of, Reasonable Religion; 

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ACGUST, 1700 361 

resolving to disperse the Books where I come, at least 
after the rate of two per Week.' 

To ask a Blessing on what I am sending to the Press, 
(especially, my Church-History, gone to England!) and on 
such Occasions as caused me to be this day fortnight before 
the Lord, I did, on 

3 (/. 6 fw. [August.] Satureday. Cry to the Lord with 
Fasting and Prayer, in my Study. 

gd.6m. Friday. What, what shall I make, of a Thing 
which this day befel me? God is chastising this poor Land, 
with a burning Drought: if it proceed a very few Dayes 
more, we cannot escape the terrible Famine. I call'd for 
^xMxc Fasting and Prayer the last Week; but, alas, thro' 
the Indisposition of one old Minister thereto, it could not 
be attended. This Week, I find the Heat, and my Slothe, 
prevail so far upon me, that I also do not attend what I 
ought. But I resolved, that I would sett apart this Day 
for Fasting and Prayer, pecuharly on that Occasion. And 
when I was this Day pouring out my Supplications before 
the Lord, I humbly pleaded with Him, that He would, thro' 
His Christ, accept me, as an Intercessor for His Churches in 
this Wilderness, inasmuch as I had many wayes apeared for 
the Defending and Preserving of His evangeUcal Interests 
in these Churches and suffered a world of Obloquy, Calumny, 
and Malignity from an evil World for my doing so. I 
humbly begged of Him, that He would permitt me to inter- 
cede, for the Deliverance of His Flocks, from the Indigna- 
tion of not being rained upon, inasmuch as I had, especially 
of late, bom a Testimony to the Coimtrey, against that 
Sin of Ingratitude and Dishonesty towards their Ministers, 
which exposed them to this Indignation. I cried unto Him, 
that he would give me a Token for Good: not without Hopes, 
that my Cries were heard. Now, behold the Issue! The 

' It was printed by T. Green for B. Eliot, 1700, and reprinted in London, in 
1713, with a preface by Dr. Daniel Williams. 

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362 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

Forenoon, afforded as little Prospect of Rain, as perhaps 
ever was. But at Noon the Clouds gathered; and the 
Afternoon was all spent in sweet gentle, soaking Showers, 
which were a plentiful Releef to our languishing and perish- 
ing Fields. Qucere; What use now, should I make of this 
Experience? For better, and far more holy, fruitful, useful, 
and prayerful Christians than I, were elsewhere praying 
this Day before the Lord, as well as I. And yett it is 
not amiss for me, humbly to receive the Consolations of 
God.' 

After this, the Lord went on still to employ me, and 
comfort me. The Drought renewing, the Lecture of Boston, 
was tum'd into a Fast; and the Minister that should then 
have preached, asked me to take his Turn. Herein I had 
an Opportunity not only to preach unto a vast Assembly, 

' Cf. Bradford, History (Deane), 141 n. 

"lid. 6m. [Au%ust.] This Day the Church had uncomfortable Occason to 
pass the ensuing Vote. 

"Whereas it appears, that Henry Dawson has been guilty of scandalous 
Drunkenness, accompanied with strong and strange Impoenitency, and has refused 
this Day to attend upon the Church, when it was demanded of him; it shall be 
signified unto him, that if he do not in a month's Time attend the Church, with 
Expressions of Submission and Repentance, the Church will proceed in the Name 
of the Lord Jesus Christ to pass the highest Censure upon him. 

"This vote was also then passed. Whereas Mr. William Pain hath withdrawn 
from the Communion of this Church, and asked afterwards a Recommendation 
to the New Church In this Town, tho' the Church cannot approve the manner of 
his withdrawing from the Society wherewith he was in Covenant, yett the Church is 
alwayes willing to accommodate the Desires of those, who judge it for their Edi- 
fication, to remove unto any other Church of the Lord Jesus Christ : And do declare 
themselves discharged from the obligations of the Covenant, wherein the said Mr. 
William Pain stood related unto us. 

" 35 d. 6 m. This Day Henry Davison appeared before the Church, expressing 
Sorrow, both for his Drunkenness and for the Obstinacy and Rebellion against the 
Church, which he show'd in his not appearing a week ago. 

"But it being evident, that he had aggravated his crimes by going to extenuate 
them with Shuffling and lying Evasions, and that he had indulged himself in too 
much of a Course of excessive Drinking, and it being also generally complained 
that Idleness and Company-keeping and Promise-breaking, and evil-speaking, had 
been too much the Character of his Conversation, the Church laid him under the 
Censure of an Admonition, which the Pastor now dispensed unto him." Cotton 
Mather's MS. Records oj the Second Church, 11. 

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SEPTEMBER, 170O 363 

beyond what would have been on another Opportunity, but 
also to speak such Things, as else I should never have spoken 
unto so many People. I enjoy'd a special Presence of the 
Lord with me, in the Service of the Day: and on the Day 
following I saw an Answer. Another most encouraging 
Return of Prayers we had, in most plentiful Showers, for 
part of the day, and all of the Night ensuing. 

Moreover, having preached a Sermon, in my Course on 
the eleventh Chapter to the Eebrewes, upon the Grace dis- 
pensed unto Rahab the Harlot, the Sermon was desired by 
the Hearers; and I gave it unto some of them, who pub- 
lished it. The Title of it, is, Grace TRnmPHANx. 

30 d. 6 m. Friday. I sett apart this Day, for Cries imto 
the Lord; especially on such Matters of Humihation and 
Supplication, as have caused me, to be often thus of late 
employ'd. 

But very particularly, that I may obtain the manifold 
Smiles of Heaven, upon a Journey unto the Northward, 
which I have the next week before me. 

2d. 7 m. [September.] Munday. This Day, I travelled 
unto Salem; attended with two yoimg Gentlemen, who 
kindly offered, as my Sons, to wait upon me. On the Day 
following, I travelled unto Ipswich, where the Ministers of 
that Vicinity being then convened, I had an Opportunity 
to do several Services among them. On the Thursday, I 
preached the Lecture at Ipswich, to a very great Assembly 
with a very great Assistence. On Friday I retum'd unto 
Salem. On the Lord's-day, I preached both parts of the 
Day at Salem, to extraordinary Auditories. On Monday I 
returned Home. In this Journey (even beyond what in 
any former one, that I can remember) I have had so much 
Comfort, and have done so much Service, thro' the good 
Hand of God upon me, that I have cause to be encouraged 
forever, in praying over a Journey before I imdertake it. 

Moreover, Observing how powerfully the Devices of 

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364 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

Satan are operating, to bring on Apostasies and Innovations 
upon our Churches; and particularly, a Minister of some 
Note in the Churches for his Piety, having published a Book 
of wretched Novelties,^ which, tho' it be offensive to the 
generality of good Men, yett is entertain'd with Gladness 
by a carnal, giddy, rising Generation: I thought it my Duty, 
to defend the Churches, from these unhappy Attempts 
against them. Wherefore, I wrote a Discourse, entituled, 
A Defence of Evangelical Churches; whereto my 
Father joined with me, in setting his Name. 

And because one of the impious Opinions, advanced by 
the New-Modellers of our Churches, who most unjustly call 
themselves Presbyterians, is, that Persons who know them- 
selves ungodly, yett may and should come to the Lord's- 
Tahle, I adjoin a savoury httle Discourse, of Mr. Quick, a 
Reverend Presbyterian in Ijmdon, about A Claim to the 
Sacrament, as well to confute our pretended Presbyterians, 
as to promote practical Godliness. Now, to make all the 
more effectual, I did in my Journey to Salem and Ipswich, 
obtain the Hands, of many elderly Ministers, in the County 
of Essex, to approve, and attest my Undertaking. So I 
ga\e the Book unto the Bookseller.' 

1 5 d . 7 OT. Lord's-Day. This Day among other Irradia- 
tions from Heaven upon me, I had my Heart strangely 
melted in my public Prayer, before the Sermon, (whereat a 
great Congregation was present,) with a strange and strong 
Assurance, which I then expressed, that whereas the Religion 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, thro' the Power and Malice of its 
Enemies, and the evil Dispositions of its Professors, is in 

' The mention of Colraan on p. 377, infra, would seem to point to a volume by 
him, but none can be identified as answering this description. It is more likely to 
have been Soloman Stoddard's Doctrine of Instituted Churches. Printed in 1 700, in 
London, by Ralph Smith. See p. 384, infra. 

' John Quick's The Young Man's Claim unto the Sacrament of the Lord'sSupper, 
in a second impression, with the minister's attestation and a defence of the churches 
of N'ew England, was printed in this year by B. Green and J. Allen, for Samuel 
Phillips. 

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SEPTEMBER, 170O 365 

extreme Hazards, throughout Europe, the Lord is going to 
do an amazing thing for the Preservation of it. 

After I had thus written down this Thing, there did on 
the day following arrive an Article of Tidings from England, 
which I received with Astonishment, as containing (I be- 
leeve) in the Bowels of it, the Accomphshment of all that 
my Faith could have Expected. This was the Death of the 
D. of Glocester, the last Branch of the Family of the Stuarts, 
and the great Hope, that the Enemies of the Reformation 
had their dependence upon.* 

Heaven having dealt most familiarly and favourably 
with me, I must expect some notable Buffeting from Satan, 
either in Reproach, or in Sickness, or in Darkness. 

It is a Time, wherein Fimerals are daily celebrated 
and multiplied among us. Fevers with Fluxes do carry 
off many of our Neighbours. My Visits of the sick, do 
extremely engross my Time, and threaten my Health. I 
thought, it would be a Thing many wayes profitable to the 
Town, if I would preach a Sermon at the Lecture, on that 
Case, W/jo/ should be the Carriage of a Christian at a Funeral? 
I did so, (on 19 d. 7 m. from Eccl. 12. 5.) and the Lord made 
my Labours acceptable. But before I slept, I had Cause to 
fear, whether it would not prove my own Funeral-Sermon. 
I was that Evening taken very ill. My Blood, contracting 
perhaps a Contagion from the miserable Chambers of the 
Sick, which I had so often visited, was cast into somewhat 
of a Feavour. My Spirits were strangely languishing; and 
I was hardly able to do any Thing, but some such Thing as to 
read a httle Book, De Satana Colaphizante, which I received 
from Holland, the day after I was taken sick. On the Lord's- 
day I was confined. When my Feaver was conquered with 
the use of Antimonium Diaphoreticum, I continued under 
much Affiction, by a Tumour in my right Cheek; which 

•William (1689-1700), son of Princess Anne (daughter of James 11) and 
Prince George of Denmark, later Duke of Cumberland. 

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366 DIAKY OF COTTON UATHEE 

broke not untU the Friday following. Then I had Ease; 
and composed a Sermon, on Matt. 9. 12. The whole have 
no need of a Physician, but they that are sick. I was not able 
to humble myself with Prayer and Fasting. But in Prayer 
I enjoy'd gracious Illapses from Heaven. And I feel my 
Soul filled with hvely Resolutions, to glorify my Lord Jesus 
Christ, more than ever heretofore. On the Lord's-day fol- 
lowing, I enjoy'd my Father's Help, in the Administracon 
of the Eucharist; and I did myself preach in the Afternoon. 

But behold, how it pleases my Good Lord, still to order 
it, that nothing shall befal me, but what shall be serviceable 
imto ffis Interests! The Sermon, which I preached on my 
going abroad, proved so awakening and acceptable, unto 
some of my Neighbours, that they asked me for a Copy of 
it. I gave it unto them, and it is immediately published, 
under the Title of, The Great Physician. 

5 d. 8 w. [October^ Satureday. My charming little 
Daughter Nanny, was yesterday taken with a violent, and 
a threatening Feavour, which began with a terrible Con- 
vulsion, whereof the Spectators feared that she never would 
recover. ' 

Seeing the Angd of Death, to stand thus, with a drawn 
Sword, over my Family, I sett apart this Day, for Prayer, 
with Fasting, on that Occasion. When I was resigning the 
Child unto the Lord, and professing that if shee might not 
live to be a Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, I did not 
ask for her Life, I received an astonishing Assurance from 
Heaven, that the Child should recover. 

Moreover, the Concern of my Church-History, that it 
may be published and accepted among the Churches of the 
Lord, and that I may not be so exceeding unhappy, as to lose 
the vast Pains I have taken in composing it, lies at this Time 
very much upon my Heart. I carry this Concern unto the 
Lord, with my daily Cries; and on this day I particularly 
do so. I implore that my Work may be sprinkled with the 
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OCTOBER, 1700 367 

Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that so the Lord may 
make use of it, for the advantage of His evangelical Inter- 
ests, which I have therein, consulted, thro' His Assistence, 
with a great Variety of exquisite, and curious Contrivance. 
I submitt imto the jtist and mse Will of Heaven, if the Lord 
will make no use of these my poor Labours, among His 
People; for He knowes what will do most Good, and I am 
not worthy to do any Good. My distressed Mind keeps in 
Agonies before the Lord, pleading Abundance of Things 
before Him, with the Exercise of such Graces, as are proper 
on this Occasion. This I do, until I think, at last, it is told 
me from Heaven, that my Church-History shall be made 
serviceable unto the Churches of the Lord. 

8d. 8 m. Tuesday. This Day, I spend with the South- 
Church, in this Town, praying and Fasting for the Life of 
their sick Minister.' 

Memorandum. The Lord this Week mercifully grants 
a Recovery to my sick Daughter; yea, and a more speedy 
One, than the Child has had, from her two such Feavours, 
in the two former Years. Thus has this Child, been 
strangely several Times given me from the Dead! 

My Son also is recovered of his Fitts, diverse Months 
ago, and more than so, is become an healthy and an hearty 
Child. 

i6d.8m. Wednesday. This Day I mett with an odd 
Experiment! I have indeed often mett with Things not 
imlike to this; but partly thro' Slothfialness, and partly 
thro' Business, I have not recorded them, as I should have 
done, when I observed them. 

I was this Afternoon making my pastoral Visits imto the 
Families in my Neighbourhood; a Service wherein I enjoy 
a strange Presence and Conduct of Heaven, but go thro' 

• The fast was held at the New Meeting house, for the health of Dr. Willard. 
Mather prayed. "Pretty considerable congregation, it being so sudden, and first 
intended in private." Sewall, Diary, n. 23. 

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368 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

very spending Labour. In these Visits, after my Discourses, 
I left Books in each of the Families: and four Books had I 
thus given away this Afternoon. A Thought came into my 
mind; Why should I putt myself to this Expence? Perhaps I 
overdo: no other Minister in the Land would so do: Perhaps 
it would not be amiss for me, to forbear this expensive Way 
of serving my Flock I I check'd this Thought: And I had 
immediately an Impulse upon my mind, that I should 
quickly see something, to encourage my doing what I do, 
and to testify that God accepts it. Well; passing along the 
Street, a sudden Inclination took me, to step into an House 
of a Gentlewoman, who had been a long time in a disconso- 
late Widowhood; I thought it would be pure Religion to 
visit her. I did so; and she told mee, that she had a Parcel 
of Books, which once belong'd unto the Library of our 
famous old Mr. Chancey; ' and if I would please to take them, 
she should count herself highly gratified, in their being so 
well bestowed. I singled out, about forty Books, and some 
of them large Ones, which were now added imto my Library, 
that has already between two and three thousand in it, and 
several of them, will be greatly useful to me, in my Design 
of writing Illustrations upon the divine Oracles. Behold 
how the Lord smiles upon me! 

24 d. 8 m. Thursday. I sett apart this Day, for Prayer 
with Fasting, in my Study. Besides the other Occasions 
for my keeping this Day, which were the same that have 
obliged me thus to keep some of those, that I have already 
mentioned, I was especially now concerned for my Consort. 
She has in some former Years been terribly sometimes 
visited her with a sore Throat, and such Tumour, and such 
Dolour and such Danger of Choaking, and such Exhausting 
of her Strength with it, as is not common. She is this week 
languishing under that Malady, until it is very near too 

' Charles Chauncy (1592-1673), of Scituate, and president of Har\'ard College, 
1654-1672. 

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OCTOBEK, 1700 369 

hard for her. Wherefore I sett myself this Day to cry unto 
the Lord, on her behalf. And behold! I serve a Good Lord, 
who will deny me nothing. On this very Day, the Tide of 
the Distemper turned with her, and she immediately and 
comfortably recovered. 

About this Time, our Booksellers reprinting the Excel- 
lent Janewayes Token for Children,^ I was willing to charm 
the Children of New England unto the Fear of God, with 
the Exeraples of some Children that were exemplary for it, 
in this Countrey, and being furnished with six or seven 
remarkable Narratives, I putt them into shape, and gave 
the little Book unto the Booksellers. Tis Entituled, A 
Token for the Children of New England.' 

iSd.Sm. Monday. This Evening, my Family received 
an extraordinary Deliverance. My lovely Daughter Nibby, 
was alone, and while she was thus alone, the Candle some 
how sett her Head-gear on a hght Fire. The Child was 
neither able to help herself, nor to cry out for Help; the 
Flame consumed all before it and was just come as far as 
her Head. In one Quarter of a Minute more, the Child 
had been destroy 'd; but a Person accidentally then passing 
by the Window, just in the Nick of Time, saw thro' the 
Window an unusual Blaze; and running in most happily, 
not only v/as the Child's Life saved, but also she gott no 
manner of Hurt. 

What shall I render to the Lord, for such a wonderful 
Salvation? Truly, I will study and contrive some special 
Return of Gratitude, unto the Saviour of my Child. 

About this Time, I was desired by one of our Judges, to 
entertain our Churches, with an historical Accoimt of the 
Greek Churches; the Oppressions and Corruptions under 
which they are languishing; and the astonishing Dispen- 

' Issued in two parts, the first for N. Boone, and the second for Benjamin Eliot, 
by T. Green. James Janeway (i636?-i674) was a non-conformist divine in 
London. His Token "still enjoys a reputation." 

•Printed by Timothy Green for B. Eliot, 1700. 

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370 DIARY OP COTTON MATHEH 

sations of Heaven towards them. The Composure cost 
me some Study, but I foresaw an Opportunity therein, to 
bespeak the more lively Prayers of Good Men, for those 
miserable Churches, and caution our own Churches against 
a Degeneracy into their woful Circumstances, and glorify 
the Justice, the Power, the Wisdome, and the Truth of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, in His Dispensations, towards Churches 
that have offended Him. Accordingly, I composed the 
Book under this Title, American Tears upon the Ruines 
or the Greek Churches: and my Honourable Friend, is 
at the Charge of publishing it. 

Moreover, a very charming Relation, of Conversion 
made by a Jew, one Shalome Ben Shalomoh, at his joining 
lately to a Congregational Church in London, falling into 
our Hands, I foresaw, many Advantages to glorify the 
Lord Jesus Christ, by the Reprinting of it. Wherefore 
composing a prseface to make the Transition agreeable, I 
procured this to be added, as an Appendix to the Book of 
the Greek Churches.^ 

And now also, having lately preached a Sermon, imto 
one of our Young-mens Meetings, on the Evening after the 
other Services of the Lords-day were ended; a Sermon about, 
and against the Evil of Apostasy from Good Beginnings in 
Religion; the young Men, were so moved with what they 
heard, that they ask'd me for a Copy of my Sermon, resolv- 
ing to publish it. It was on Heb. lo. 39. Accordingly I 
gave it unto them; and I entituled it. The young Mans 
Monitor.' 

15 (f. 9 w. [November.] Wednesday. It is a Time of much 
Affliction in the Town, by malignant Colds, and Coughs, 
which are become so epidemical that there is hardly a Family 
free from sore Inconvenience by them.' I am creepled with 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1701, and sold by Samuel Sew&U, Jr. The 
judge was probably Samuel Sewall. 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1700. 

' Sewall, Diary, n. 35, records a number of deaths. 

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NOVEMBER, 17OO 371 

an afflictive share in this common Calamity; yet not so, as 
to be wholly taken off my public Services. But in my 
Family, we are almost all sick; especially my Daughter 
Katy, who is arrested with a very violent Feavour. 

On this Occasion, I sett myself this Day, to observe the 
Duties of a Fast in secret before the Lord. And the Lord, 
immediately gave an Answer, by an imexpected Removal 
of the Feaver, from the sick Child; and in the Abatement 
of the Illness on the rest of us. 

But this was not all the Occasion of my being thus before 
the Lord. Some Years ago, a very wicked Sort of a Sad- 
ducee in this Town, raking together a crue of Libels, which 
he had written at several Times, (especially relating to the 
Wonders of the Invisible World, which have been among us) 
wherein I am the cheef Butt of his Malice, (tho' many other 
better Servants of the Lord, are also most maliciously 
abused by him:) he sent this vile Volume to London, to be 
published. Now, tho' I had often, and often cried unto the 
Lord, that the Cup, of this Man's abominable Bundle of 
Lies, written on purpose, with a Quil under a special Energy 
and Management of Satan, to damnify my precious Oppor- 
tunities of Glorifying my Lord Jesus Christ, might pass from 
me; Yett, in this point, the Lord has denied my Request: 
the Book is printed, and the Impression is this week arrived 
here. The Books, that I have sent over into England, with 
a Design to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, are not published, 
but strangely Delayed; and the Books, that are sent over 
to viUfy me, and render me incapable to Glorify the Lord 
Jesus Christ, these are pubhshed.* 

I sett myself to humble myself before the Lord under 
these humbling, and wonderous Dispensations, and obtain 
the Pardon of my Sins, that have rendred me worthy of such 
Dispensations. I also sett myself, to beseech the Lord, 
that He would assist me, with His Grace, to carry it 

'Robert Calef was the "Sadducee." 

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372 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

prudently and patiently, and not give way to any Distemper, 
under the Buffets, which are now likely to be given unto me, 
but imitate and represent the Gentleness of my Saviour. 

And I resigned the whole Matter imto the Lord, pray- 
ing that my Opportunities to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ, 
might not be prejudiced. 

Other Supplications, proper on this Occasion, I carri'd 
before the Lord. And a sweet Calm was produced in my 
Mind. I am assured, there will faU out a remarkable 
Thing. 

21 d. gm. Thursday. This was a publick Day of Tlianks- 
giving, throughout the Province. Among other Things, 
which I did, and thought, in the Exercises of the Day, I 
took up this Resolution. 

That for the Future, my Evening-Prayers both in my 
Family, and in my Study, every day, shall be mostly made 
up of Thanksgiving. It may perhaps be singularly accept- 
able to Heaven, and profitable to myself, if I make my 
evening Sacrifices for the Time to come, to have [a] more 
elevated Note of Thanksgiving upon them, and consist 
mainly in Praising and Blessing of God. 

I have an Opportunity, here to insert a remarkable 
Passage, which fell out, about this Time. 

There was an old Man, (called, Ferdinando Turyl) 
scarce known to me, or but very little in my Knowledge. 

On a Satureday-night (28 d. 7 m.) I was very strongly 
accosted in my Sleep, with a Dream, of this Importance. 
That this old Man was brought into my Sight, and that it 
was (I know not how) said unto me, take Notice of this old 
man, speak to him, do for him! On the Day following, I 
saw the old Man, at our public Sermons, very attentive; 
(where I suppose he had rarely attended.) On the Day 
after this, I mett the old Man in the Street, and I lett fall 
some such Words as these unto him; How d' ye do, Old Man! 
I am glad for to see you still in this World; I pray God, pra- 

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DECEMBER, 170O 373 

pare you for another! I suppose, it won't be long before you 
are called away; Can I do you no Service! And so I turned 
from him. On the Day after that, the old Man came to me, 
at my House: and I then instructed him, how to praepare 
for Death; and I gave him a httle Book, (of Grace Trium- 
phant,) further to assist him in it: adding a Peece of Money 
to encourage him. Afterwards, he came to me several 
Times; but in about seven Weeks, after our first Interview, 
he dyed suddenly. Going to his Funeral, I was told, (from 
some who did not understand, how much I had been con- 
cerned for him,) and afterwards, I had it more fully reported 
unto me, from the People of the House, where the old Man 
lived, that he had been a poor carnal sorry Old man, imtil 
near seven Weeks, before he dyed; but in his last six or 
seven Weeks, they had observed a wonderful Change upon 
him; he spent his whole Time in praying and reading, and 
the little Book (of, Grace Triumphant,) was his continual 
Companion Day and Night; they never saw a man so 
altered; and they are verily perswaded he dyed a regen- 
erate Man. 

Truly, I have several Times observed, that God hath 
strangely stirred up my Heart sometimes to visit Persons, 
that were Strangers to me, and employ very particular 
Methods to excite and assist their giving themselves up to 
Him, in His Covenant, And they have presently after 
dyed with great Symptomes of Regeneration upon them. 

4 d. 10 m. [December.] Wednesday. My pious Neighbours, 
are so provoked, at the diabolical Wickedness, of the Man, 
who has pubUshed a Volumn of Libels against my Father 
and myself, that they sett apart whole Dayes of Prayer, to 
complain unto God against him; and this Day particularly. 

Wherefore I also sett apart this Day for Prayer in my 
Study, (but in the Afternoon, I went and pray'd and preach'd 
with my Neighbours;) on that Occasion. 

I hmnbled myself before the Lord, and confessed and 
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374 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

bewayled my Sins, which gave a Triumph imto His Justice, 
in the humbhng Dispensation, which was now upon mee; 
and I cried unto Him, that I might be supported under it, 
and it might be sanctified unto me; and that my precious 
Oppwrtimities to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ, might be 
preserved. So I left the Matter with the Lord. 

My Consort also now being near her Time, I carried 
unto the Lord, her Condition, that all the Circimastances of 
it might be ordered in very Faithfulness. I beleeve I am 
heard in this Matter. 

11 d. lo m. Wednesday. I address'd the Lord again this 
Day, with Prayer and Fasting, as I did this day se'nnight; 
and on the same Occasions. 

On the Morning of this Day, it was in a manner imutter- 
able told me, (as I suppose,) by the Angel of the Lord, that 
before many Hours are out, I shall receive some spedal and 
signal Tokens of the Divine Favour to me. 

One Design of my being thus before the Lord this Day, 
was to obtain His Presence with me, in my Lecture to 
morrow. 

12 d. lom. Thursday. I en joy 'd a special Presence of 
the Lord with me, in my Lecture this Day. A vast Assem- 
bly came together; and the whole People of God, in the 
Place, were desirous to observe my Temper, and Car- 
riage, and Conduct under my present Exercises. God 
helped me this Day to exemplify the Spirit of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, unto His People, and represent that Patience, 
and Courage, and those Aspirations after universal Holi- 
ness, in my enduring of Buffets from Satan for my Testi- 
monies to the evangelical Interests, that, I hope, the Lord 
is glorified. 

Now, on this Day, I received also two Tokens more of 
the Divine Favour to me. 

First, I received Letters from England, which advise me 
of the Lords having accepted (and Published) some of my 
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DECEMBER, 170O 375 

poor Composures, which I sent iinto London a long while 
ago, and made many Prayers over, but they have until now 
lain buried there, so that I could not leam what was become 
of them. 

Secondly, I received likewise Letters from England, full 
of Encouragement, concerning the hopeful Circumstances of 
my Church-History. 

But this is not all: for on the Day following, 

13 (i. 10 m. Friday. My Consort fell into her Travail. 
It was in the day Time, and in a temperate and moder- 
ate Season. AH the Circumstances of her Condition were 
ordered in very Faithfulness. The Lord gave her a good 
Time; and enriched us with the Birth of another Son, about 
four a clock in the Afternoon; a lovely and a lusty Infant. 

On the Lord's day following, I baptized him, and I 
call'd his Name Samuel, and / gave him unto the Lord, as 
long as hee lives. 

About this Time, there arrives from N. York, an Impres- 
sion of a Pamphlet, written, tis said in the Title-page, by 
sundry Ministers.^ It is published by certain People of the 
Manifesto-Chuich in this Town; and intended for their 
Defence, in their Deviations from the Order of the Gospel. 
But the wonderful Judgment of God, has in this Action, 
left that miserable People, to a strange Infatuation; for 

' This pamphlet of forty pages, printed by William Bradford in New York, 
carried the title " Gospel Order revived, being an Answer to a Book lately set forth 
by the Reverend Increase Mather," and an advertisement: "The Reader is desired 
to take Notice that the Press in Boston is so much under the aw of the Reverend 
Author, whom we answer, and his Friends, that we could not obtain of the Printer 
there to print the following Sheets, which is the only true Reason why we have 
sent the Copy so far for its Impression and where it was printed with some Diffi- 
culty." The authorship has been attributed to the Rev. John Woodbridge, 
Benjamin Colman and Simon Bradstreet. It was answered by a Printers Adver- 
tisement, December 21, 1700, issued by Bartholomew Green, and containing 
depositions by Thomas Brattle, Zechariah Tuthill, John Mico, Green and others, 
with four pages of "remarlts" written but not signed by Cotton Mather. See 
Brinley Catalogue, lots 773, 774. This controversy is described in Quincy, History 
of Harvard University, i. ch. vii. 

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376 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

their Pamphlet, (which is against my Father and myself, 
and the Churches of New England) not only violates the 
third, the ninth and the fifth Commandment in most scan- 
dalous Instances, but also burlesques the Holy Churches 
of the Lord, and what is practised in them, with most pro- 
fane, but yett siUy, Scofts, and Flouts, and the whole is 
httle else, but a most odious Mocking of the Religion of the 
Country. This profane Folly, whereto this People are 
thus left of God, is likely to prove a most ruinous Thing 
unto them: It makes 'em loathsome, and it brings them to 
Shame. 

However, it provides further Occasions for me to humble 
myself in Prayer, and with Fasting before the Lord, which on 

21 d. 10 m. Satureday; I accordingly endeavoured. 

And here I have Opportunity to relate, a very particular 
Experience. My httle Daughter Nanny, has been all this 
Week, very ill, a Pain of an unknown Original in her lower 
Bowels, whereof she has languished for some Time, now 
grew to an Extremity. On Friday Morning, my Soul was 
Irradiated from Heaven with a Particular Faith, for some 
Help to be sent from Heaven unto the dying Child. At 
Night her Illness, with Vomiting which then came upon her 
proceeded so far, that she would undoubtedly have died 
before Morning, if one sojourning in our Family, had not 
resolutely called up a Physician, whose means God blessed 
for the stopping of it. 

Here my Faith was tried exceedingly. On Satureday my 
Assurance for the Child, was wonderfully renewed. Yett 
the Illness of the Child went on; and in the Evening one of 
the Physicians, unable to do any more, left the Child, con- 
cluding it would certainly dy. Behold, the Trinl of my 
Faith I Well, on the Lord's-day in the Forenoon, the Child 
was diverting herself, and nmning and laughing the whole 
Forenoon, about the House, and at Noon, sat at the Table 
with me. The Physician was astonished, at so sudden a 

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DECEMBER, 17OO 377 

Recovery of the Child! And my Soul is raised unto Rap- 
tures of Thankfulness unto my prayer-hearing Lord. The 
Lord has made this Child, little else unto me, but a Subject 
whereupon Prayer and Faith, has been gloriously produced 
and answered. And this consideration mightily endears the 
Child unto me. 

28 d. 10 m. Satureday. The Lord has permitted Satan 
to Raise an extraordinary Siorm upon my Father, and my- 
self. All the Rage of Satan, against the Holy Churches of 
the Lord, falls upon us. First Calfs Book, and then Cole- 
man's, do sett the People in a mighty Ferment. All the 
Adversaries of the Churches lay their Heads together, as if 
by Blasting of us, they hoped utterly to blow up all. 

The Lord fills my Soul with Consolacons, inexpressible 
Consolations, when I think, on my Conformity to my Lord 
Jesus Christ, in the Injuries and Reproaches, that are cast 
upon me; and in my being so much forsaken, by those 
that should appear with more Vigour, for the evangelical 
Interests. 

But I think it very necessary, to be much in Prayer, 
at so critical a Time, as this; That the Lord would now 
stand by me (according to Jer. i. 19.) and assist me to an 
exemplary Patience, and Courage, and Watchftdness, under 
the present Storm; and hasten the Period of it, and wonder- 
fully defeat and confound, the Enterprizes of mine and His 
Churches' Adversaries, and bring out of it vast Benefits 
imto me, and unto His churches. 

Wherefore I sett apart this Day also, for Prayer with 
Fasting before the Lord, on this Occasion. 

The Devotions of the Day were much carried on by me, 
with singing agreeable Psalms. But I had one Circum- 
stance about it, that my Psalm-book alwayes opened so, 
that the first Psalms I cast my Eye upon, were still the 
most agreeable perhaps of any that I could have chosen. 
This Observacon may easily be abused imto Superstition: 
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378 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

but yett sometimes, there is an angelical Agency in those 
Occurrences. 

2d. iim. [January.] Thursday. On the same Occasion, 
I did this Day renew my Prayer, with Fasting, in secret 
before the Lord. As also because my little Daughter 
Nanny is again taken very iU; and her Illness this Day 
grew upon her unto an Heart-breaking Extremity. 

I lay in the Dust, before the Lord, and obtained Mercy 
for my poor Child. 

And crying to the Lord, that He would rescue my 
Opportunities to glorify Him, from the Designs of Hell to 
damnify them, / was heard in the thing I feared. 

Moreover, the Adversaries to the Holy Churches of the 
Lord, having been by a wonderful Hand of Heaven upon 
them, so infatuated as to publish a Book of Scurrilities and 
Impieties which renders them abominable to all sober Peo- 
ple, I thought it would be a Service imto all the Churches, 
and assist and excite the Faithful to bear their Testimonies 
for the Churches, if I shovdd even in their own words draw 
up a Scheme of their Plott against the Churches, and 
armex a breef Collection of the vile Things in their Book 
against my Father and myself, barely to Recite which is 
enough to refute them. Accordingly I did so; and it was 
published under the Title of, A Collection of Some of the 
MANY OFFENSIVE PASSAGES, in a loie Pamphlet, Entituled 
Gospel-order Revived.' 

gd.iim. Thursday. This Day the Lord helped me 
exceedingly to glorify Him, and edify and sanctify His 
People, who much observe my Conduct and Spirit under 
the Satanic Assaults now made upon me. I did it, in 
preaching to a vast Assembly, on Gen. 50. 20. As for you, 
yee thought Evil against me, but God meant it unto Good. 

But that I might further glorify the Lord Jesus Christ 
before all the Churches, and exemplify to them, the Thoughts 

' It was printed by T. Green. 

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JANUARY, 1700-01 379 

and Frames of Witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ, when 
Sufferers for Him, and that I might receive the Answer of 
my Prayer and Faith, to have nothing befalling me, but 
what shall be serviceable imto the evangehcal Interests; 
Behold, what comes to pass! The Sermon is by some good 
People carried unto the Press; and the Title which I have 
putt upon it, is, Trixjmphs over Troubles. 

10 d. II m. Friday. This Day, the Lord restores to me, 
my dearest Consort and putts my Family again, into many 
Circiunstances of Comfort. Wherefore I sett apart the 
Day, for a THANKSGIVING in my Study. 

Both in my Family, and in my Retirement, I had my 
Heart raised unto many Expressions of Thankfulness unto 
the Lord, for His enumerated Favours to me. 

But in the Afternoon, I sett myself to insist upon a very 
peculiar and unusual Article of Thankfulness. 

The Lord Jesus Christ, and His holy Churches in this 
Coimtrey, have many Enemies. And the Lord in sovereign 
Grace, hath called me forth to be signalized in the Service 
of His Churches and Interests. But the Enemies of my 
glorious Lord, now spend upon me, the cheef Storm of all 
their Fury. I bewayled the Sin of the reproachful Enemies; 
but I rejoiced before the Lord exceedingly, that the Re- 
proaches of them that reproached Him, are fallen upon me. 
I gave Thanks to the Lord, for His bestowing this Honour 
upon me. His most unworthy Servant. But herewithal I 
received an Assiu^ance from Heaven, that as I now suffer 
with the Lord Jesus Christ, and for Him, so I shall one Day 
reign with Him. 

ij d. II m. What Cause have I to be thankful imto God! 

The Satanic Party in the Town, having basely slandered 
me, and belyed me, in some Instances, I was prevailed 
withal, to write a Letter unto a Gentleman in the Town, 
desiring him to exp>ose it; which he did, and Copies were 
taken of it. 

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380 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

That Letter I thus concluded; 

"I have two Propositions to make, and I think, they are fair 
ones. 

"One is this; If all they, that have used so much Liberty to 
express their Unkindness to me, will please to produce with Evi- 
dence any one Instance, wherein I have wrong'd or harm'd any one 
of them all, or done any one thing misbecoming a man whose Busi- 
ness it is to do good unto all, I submitl unto the hardest Censure 
my worst Adversary can impose upon me. 

"The other is this; if they that repwrt what they please concern- 
ing me, will please first of all to satisfy themselves, as every Chris- 
tian or Gentleman would, before they take up a defamatory Report; 
and they don't find, that I have acted not only blamelessly, but 
also suitably, I will again submitt unto Censure. Thus do I chal- 
lenge all the World." 

i8d. 11 m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, for Prayer 
in my Study; on the same Occasions, that I have so often 
been of late in this way before the Lord. 

Nothing remarkable occurr'd in it. 

Only there is one thing, that I have sett a Remark upon; 
and I would observe the Issue. 

My dear little Son Samuel, I have often and often made 
Essayes, to gett my Heart raised, unto a Particular Faith 
for that Child, that the Lord will accept of the Child, for 
the Service of His Churches in this World: but I never 
could yett attain to such a Faith: a man cannot beleeve, 
wJien and what he will. This makes me live in a continual 
Apprehension that the Child, (tho' a lusty and hearty 
Infant) will dy in its Infancy. And something imto this 
Purpose, I have taken the Liberty to express, imto my Con- 
sort, and my Father. 

I thought it would be many Wayes a Service unto all 
Churches, (insomuch as our Platform of Church-Discipline, 
is in few Hands, and little known, and read, and yett un- 
accountable Prejudices against it prevail in the Countrey,) 
for me, to draw up the whole of the Platform, in certain 

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JANUARY, 1700-01 381 

Conclusions, (I did it in Thirty Three Articles,) Extracted 
from it, and contracting of it, and all crowded into one 
Sheet of Paper. I did this, adding four significant Remarks, 
at the End of it, and I gave it unto the Bookseller, entituled, 
The Old Principles of New England^ 

Moreover, about this Time, I gave unto the Booksellers, 
another Composure, which consisted of almost a dozen 
Sheets of paper, in my Writing. I considered, That the 
Practice of making Occasional Reflections on, and fetching 
Profitable Instructions from, all the Creatures of God, was a 
very devout Practice, and would be a Cause, a Fniit, and a 
Sign of exemplary Spiritual- Mitidedness. I considered, that 
the Fire is one of these Creatures, wherewith all Sorts of 
Persons are very much concerned, especially for diverse 
Months in the Year. I considered, that Lessons conveyed 
from this, or any Creatures, under theAdvantages of a Simili- 
ttide, had a particular Charm in them, and perhaps would 
never be forgotten. Wherefore, praefacing the rest of my 
Meditations with a Discourse, on Joh. 18. 18. They made a 
Fire of Coals, {for it was cold) and they warmed themselves; 
and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself; I then wrote 
forty Meditations, on the Fire, and fetched out of it, many 
more than forty Admonitions, which I dressed up, so as they 
might afiford both Pleasure and Profit unto a serious Reader. 
This Work is entituled, Christl\nus per Ignem; or A Dis- 
ciple Warming of himself, and owning of his Lord: with 
Meditations fetched out of the Fire, by a Christian in a Cold 
Season, sitting before it. I was in hopes this way, having 
thus employ'd myself, now also to procure a very grateful 
and useful Employment for others, especially in the Liesure 
of the Winter, by the Fire-Side. 

I had no sooner dispatch'd this work, but I was in a 
Strait about the Publication of it: and particularly, I was 
in a Doubt, whether any Bookseller would undertake to 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1700. 

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382 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

publish it. I therefore carried the work unto the Lord, 
humbly beseeching of Him, that if He had any Service to 
be done by it, upon the Souls of Men He would please by 
His Holy Providence, to bring it forth into the World; and 
so I easily and cheerfully left it with Him. Immediately 
[this was on 30 <f. 11 tn.] a Gentleman, came into my Study, 
from whom I had very httle Reason to expect such an Offer; 
and he seeing the MSS. ly on my Table, and having it shown 
unto him, very readily offered, that he would bear half the 
Charges of the Impression. Under his Encouragement I 
sent it unto one of the Booksellers, who readily undertook 
to go on with it.' 

7 d. 12 m. [February.] Friday. The Evil that I feared is 
come upon me. On Tuesday night, this week, my little Son 
Samuel, was taken with very sad Convulsions. They con- 
tinued all Wednesday, incurable, and we were all the day 
in continual Expectation of his Expiration. But he lived 
all Thursday, too, and out-lived more than an himdred very 
terrible Fitts. The Convulsions of my own Mind, were all 
this while, happily composed and quieted; and with much 
Composure of Mind, I often and often in Prayers resigned 
the Child unto the Lord. Preaching the Lecture, on Thurs- 
day, while we were every Minute looking for the Death of 
the Child, I chose to insist on that. Job. 19. 25. / know, 
that my Redeemer lives; as a matter of Satisfaction to us, 
at the Sight of our dying Friends. 

On Thursday, about Midnight, an odd thing fell out. 
The Child coming out of one of its worst Fitts, most unac- 
countably fell a Laughing, yea, into a very great Laughter, 
and this held for diverse Minutes; unto the Amazement of 
the Spectators, who indeed were so amazed, that they codd 
hardly keep from Swooning. After this, it had no more such 
Fitts as before; but lingered along, till about Ten a clock, 
this Morning, when one of its Fitts carried it off. 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, for Benjamin Eliot, 1702. 

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FEBRUARY, 170O-OI 383 

I sett apart (Saiureday,) the Day following, for the 
Duties of a secret Fast, that I might humble myself before 
God under the rebukes of His Providence, who at the same 
time, that wicked Men are from abroad assaulting me with 
a Storm of Mahgnity, to mine all my Opportunities to 
glorify Him, does Himself also visit me with Deaths and 
Griefs at home in my own Family; and that I might obtain 
from BUm, Assistences to carry it patiently and cheerfully 
imder my Trials, and bring forth such Fruits of greater 
Serviceableness (especially among the Children of my Flock) 
as are to be expected of me. 

But that I might immediately glorify the Lord Jesus 
Christ, I did on the Lords-Day ensuing, preach unto the 
great Congregation, on Job. 35. 10. the Songs, which the 
triimiphant Faith of the Saints, has to utter, in the dark- 
est Night of Affliction, that can come upon them; and I 
beleeve, my Lord Jesus Christ had some Glory, from the 
Things, and the Frames, which I exhibited unto His People 
on this Occasion. 

On Monday, the Child had a Funeral, with numerous 
Attendents, and Respects beyond what Children use to 
have. 

On the Grave-Stone, I caused that Motto to be inscribed, 
Not as they that have no Hope. 

In this Place, it may not be amiss for me, to Record one 
. Passage more. 

Neither my Father, nor myself, thought it proper for 
us, to pubUsh imto the Churches our own Vindication from 
the vile Reproaches and Calumnies that Satan, by his 
Instrument Calf, had cast upon us. But the Lord putt it 
into the Hearts of a considerable Number of our Flock, who 
are in their temporal Conditions more sequal unto our 
Adversary to appear in our Vindication. They came to us, 
desiring that we would furnish them, with Memorials and 
Evidences, concerning Matters of Fact, which they might pro- 
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384 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

duce on our behalf, and offering then to write what might 
be for the Satisfaction of all good Men, concerning our Con- 
duct. My Father hereupon gave them diverse Letters of 
Attestation from very considerable Persons to his Fidelity 
in his Agency, and added a further Instrument under his 
hand, relating to that Matter. I also sent them a large 
Letter, sign'd by my own Hand, concerning the cheef of the 
Points, wherein I had been myself aspersed and abused. 
The Brethren being thus furnished, composed an handsome 
Answer unto the Slanders and Libels of our slanderous 
Adversary, and inserted into their Answer the Memorials, 
which we had given then. Seven of them, were by the rest 
pitch'd upon, to sett their Names unto it. and they did so. 
The Book being hereupon printed, the Lord blesses it 
for the Illuminacon of His people, in many Points of our 
endeavour to serve them, whereof they had been ignorant. 
And there is also sett before all the Churches, a very laud- 
able Exemple, of a People, appearing to vindicate then- 
injured Pastors, when a Storm of Persecution is raised against 
them. The Lord accept, and reward, this Work of our 
faithful People! It is entituled, Some few Remarks.' 

When a Discoiu-se of Mr. St's offensive Book, about 
Churches, was introduced, by my Father, in a very great 
Assembly of Ministers, Boston, 4 d. $m., 1700.' 

[After Leave.] 

Syrs, all men that have any Sense at all in them are sensible, • 
that various Attempts are continually making, to unkinge and sub- 
vert, the Holy Churches of New England. There is a wonderful 
Sleepiness upon us, (even such an one as must be among the Fore- 
runners to the coming of our glorious Lord.) if we are not so much 
awake, as to be aware that there are vigorous Endeavours to bring 
in a new Stak upon our Churches. These Churches of the Lord, are 
not in so good Terms with the great Adversary of all Holy Churches, 

' Printed by T. Green, 1701. The names of the seven brethren are signed to 
the introductory letter. 

' Stoddard. Sec note on p. 364, supra. 

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FEBRUARY, 1700-OI 38$ 

(who, as Austin bid the Christians of his Time, to beleeve, is not 
yett turned a Christian,) that he should leave them unmolested. But, 
alas, those that are no Servants of that Adversary (but the sincere 
Servants of our Heavenly Lord) may be unhappily prevailed upon, 
to do him no little Service. 

Among all the Attempts against the State of our Churches I know 
none more open, more daring or more explicit, than that which has 
been made by a Book of a reverend Person, here present, which is 
lately pubUshed. But upon the Occasion of these Attempts, I beg 
your Patience, and your Pardon, if I make to you some Remarks, 
concerning the Nature of them. 

And, first, you will observe, Syrs, that the Gentlemen, who go 
to unhinge our Churches, would ravish from them, their good Things, 
without substituting any Better, or indeed any other, in the room of 
them. As now; they divest particular Churches, of their just Power 
to reform themselves, and they will have the Decrees of their classical 
Pro\'indal, and national Synods, to be the Orders that shall in all 
things govern the Churches. But they know very well, that their 
Decrees will signify little, except they have a civil Magistrate, that 
will make them cutt. Whereas they are not yett provided of a Magis- 
trate, that will be their Tool; no, nor ever \vill bee. Again, they 
leave us no Church-Covenant, not so much as an implicit one, whereby 
our Churches may be distinguished, that they say, b wholly unscrip- 
tural. But then, instead thereof, they provide us with nothing else, 
that may in any Measure serve, to distinguish, or mentain and prae- 
serve, our Churches or keep alive the Interests of Holiness in them. 
I beseech you, Syrs, what would you be at! Your Attempts, only 
furnish a profane Generation of People in the Countrey, with Cavils 
against the Churches, and the good Things observed in them, and 
they do what they can, to release the Consciences of People, from 
any awe of religious Bonds upon them, in the Order of the Churches. 
You cannot rationally imagine to attain any further Ends, but oiJy, 
to throw all into Confusion and Contention. You scarce ojffer us, 
much less can you effect and produce, any Remedy for the Confusion, 
when you have made it. 

Syrs, you will observe, secondly, that the Gentlemen, who are 
thus heaving at our Churches, advance for mighty Points of Reforma- 
tion, those things, which indeed were no little Points of the antichris- 
tian Depravation and Apostasy, several Instances might be given; 
I will single out but one. The Liberty of the Fraternity, in things 
of common Concernment; for the Fraternity to be Governed, not 

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386 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

as meer Bruits or Mutes: The primitive Churches, preserved it, for 
many Ages. The Loss of it, was not the first, no, nor the tenth. 
Article of the antichristian Apostasy. The Apostasy had proceeded 
unto horrible Degrees, before the Churches, and the Brethren in 
them, were utterly deprived of their Liberty. Our Gentlemen do 
assay utterly to take away all manner of Liberty, from the Brethren 
in our Churches. Because it may be, in some Churches things may 
have been sometimes carried in a Strain too democralical, these 
Gentlemen will do well to remember, who they are, which, 

dum, vitant vitia, in contraria ciirrunt. 
But they can't speak of the People in any other Terms, than the 
Pharisees did of old; Whereas, indeed, Syrs, this People, is the Lord's 
Heritage. They tell us, they will reform our Churches. And then 
they tell us, it shall be, by pushing them from the primitive Church 
State, wherein they at present are, and by plunging them into the 
Church-State, which the Romish Apostasy, after some Centuries had 
brought all into. A goodly Reformation I Syrs, tis unintelligible, ds 
unaccountable. 

Give me leave, Syrs, to observe, thirdly; that the Gentlemen in 
the Design against our Churches, will needs be call'd Presbyterians: 
but they very unjustly arrogate that Name: (A Name, which I would 
alwayes mention with Respect and Honour!) They are not Pres- 
byterians: Our Controversy with them indeed is, because they will 
not be Presbyterians. Behold, how I demonstrate it. Presbyterians 
doe religiously submitt unto the Government of their Classes. Wee 
have our Classes; and tho' they assume not all the Government, 
which many Presbyterians think they might, yett their Advice at 
least might be taken, in things of general Consequence; lett us have 
at least so much Presbyterianism, I pray. No; these Gentlemen do 
things of the greatest Consequence that can be, and make Batteries, 
and Outrages, upon all our Churches, and never took, nor ask'd the 
Advice of any Classes under Heaven, for what they do. Once more; 
In almost all the Presbyterian Churches, on the face of the Earth 
the Rights of the Brethren are preserved, by a Consistory of Elders. 
Our Gentlemen will mostly abhor the Mention of such Elders. Indeed, 
some Holy Churches of Presbyterians, did subsist in very feeble Cir- 
cumstances, under the late Persecution in England; and have not 
since improved into a better, and more hearty and vi\-id . Consti- 
tution ; they have neither Consistory, nor any Discipline, of a regular 
Proceedurc. They would be glad, many of them, if an order, like 
ours, were established among them. Our Gentlemen, come now, 

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FEBRUARY, 170O-OI 387 

and call for a Reformation; and thus explain themselves, wee mil have 
you part with the more compleat Order wherein you have been estab- 
lished, and putt yourselves into the feeble Circumstances of Churches 
under Persecution. Syrs, I can't see through this! I will add: The 
Presbyterians have, with much Holy Reason written, to prove, that 
Regeneration is a Qualification of Communicants at the Table of the 
Lord. But our Gentlemen do preach and print this amazing Paradox, 
that Persons who know themselves to be unregenerate, unjustified, 
unsanctified, not only may, but should come to the Holy Table. True 
Presbyterians would say, don't come to the Seals of the Covenant, 
till you have Cause to hope, that you have accepted the Terms of 
the Covenant. But these Gentlemen will have those that know them- 
selves ungodly Wretches come to the dreadful Mysteries, if others 
can't prove them such; and then these, forsooth, must be our only 
Presbyterians I I must I see, incorporate into this Observation, 
another. That the Gentlemen in the Plott of undermining the 
Churches, do introduce Principles most fatal to all our Churches. 
That which I last complained of, is one of them. And, if I mistake 
not, the Fancy of Provincial, and National Churches, consisting only 
of the Clergy too, to be of divine Right, is another. The King and 
Parliament know, that this Notion threatens the English Nation, 
with all the Slavery of a. foreign Jurisdiction. Stave off the Authority 
of an (Ecumenical Church, in a general Coimcil now, if you can; 
but Syrs, I hope, you forgett not where you have a Patriarch pro- 
vided for you. 

Upon the whole; I would earnestly entreat these Gentlemen, that 
if they will resolve to persist; in the Plott of confounding the Order 
of our Churches, they would seriously consider what they do. Syrs, 
you have to do with an Holy Lord, who walks in the Midst of His 
Golden Candlesticks, and will be offended at your Attempts to make 
them Dross and Tin. The Lord of these invaded Churches, may 
be more displeased at what you do, than you think for, and may 
signalize His Displeasure. If you will needs turn His Churches into 
Dens of Theeves, and make His Churches to cease representing the 
Kingdome of Heaven, tis a desperate Action that you venture upon: 
And, if you will force away from the Churches, the Rights that the 
Lord has given them, truly, tis a Robbery, tis a Sacriledgel 

And give me leave, Syrs; where will you stop? The first Plott 
of Satan against this Land, hath been, to extinguish the Power and 
Practice of Godliness, throughout the Countrey. This point is fear- 
fully gain'd already; we feel it with Sorrow and Horror. The next 

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388 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

ploU of Satan, is to confound our Holy Church-Order, and make us, 
with our own Hands pull down our House. This is the Point which 
we are now upon; and it naturally foUowes upon the former. But, 
Syrs, we shall not stop here, beleeve me! The third PloU will bee 
to betray the Faith of the Churches, the Truths of the Gospel, the 
Doctrines of Grace. Tfiese, these will shortly be assaulted. We 
shall shortly be called upon, to part with those Things, which are 
the very Life of our Souls; but, I hope, we shall sooner part with 
our Life. 

Yea, shall I say it, Syrs? If all wee, the Pastors of the Churches 
do desert our Holy Flock, and go o\er to, I know not what Innova- 
tions, the Lord will have an holy pious, humble, praying, and faithful 
Generation, among our People, that we shall never carry over with 
us. If we will pass over to Gilgal, they will not hinder us, but they 
will not folloiv us. 

In fine: I am told, from several abroad, that the Gentleman, who 
hath lately published his offensive Positions, is come down, to assert 
them and defend them, and that now he is come, the Ministers will 
all shrink before them, none of them will dare to encounter him. 
For that cause, and for their Sake, Syrs, I do here make him an 
Offer of a Disputation; I say, I do offer him Disputation, when and 
where he shall please to appoint it. Lett this be remembred and 
reported. 

I know, I have extremely e.xposed myself by what I have said. 
I know, the Prophet of the Lord has taught mee, that grievous Reioll- 
ers will walk with Slanders. I know that there are grievous Ravlts 
afoot, and all that go to check the Torrait of them, shall suffer a 
thousand Slanders and Clammours. But, I hope, the Lord will teach 
us Patience under them; yea, we shall count them our Glories. 

My Publick Ministry for the Year 1700. 

i8d. 12 m. 1699. I preaclied, on 2. Cor. 2. 11. The Devices oj 
Satan; (formerly begun to be preached on.) And this Day I dis- 
coursed particularly, on the Unices of Satan, to indispose men, for 
Benefits by Approaches to the Table of the Lord. (And then I 
administred the Eucharist.) 

I 25 d. 12 m. I preached, on Heb. it. 24. The Refusing of Hon- 
ours, in that Self-denial, whereto Christians are called. Being in a 
course of Sermons on that Chapter. 

3 d. I m., 1700. I preached, on 2. Cor. 2. 11. The Deinces of 
Solan to dishearten men from the Duties of a Christian Convcrsa'con. 

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FEBRUARY, 17OO-OI 389 

"] <L 1 m. Thursday. I preached Boston-'Lectuxe, on i. Joh. 2. 6. 
The Imitation of Christ. 

10 d. I m. I preached on, Heb. 11. 24. The special Duties of 
Persons, when they come to Years. 

17 d. I m. I preached, on 2. Cor. 2. 11. The Devices of Satan, 
to hinder men from getting of Good, by the means of Godd. 

24 d. I m. I preached, on Joh. i. 19. The young Men are dead; 
the Improvement that all men, especially young men, should make 
of the Death of young Men. (On occasion of three young Men, 
drowned the week before.) 

31 d. I w. I preached (the seventh Time,) on 2. Cor. 2. 11. 
The Devices of Satan, to trouble the Children of God, and Pillage 
them of their Peace and Joy. 

4 J. 2 m. Thursday. I preached (the second Time,) the Lecture 
on I. Joh. 2. 6. The Imitation of Christ. 

"J d. 2 m. I preached on Heb. 11. 25. Affliction with the People 
of God, preferr'd before the temporary and the transitory Pleasure 
of Sin. 

14 d. 2m. I preached on i. Thess. i. 7. That Church-members 
ought to be Exemples. (And I administred the Eucharist.) 

2id.2m. I preached on Heb. 11. 26. The RicJies, whereto 
men arrive, by embracing of reproached Christianity. 

25 d. 2 m. Thursday. On a Fast, thro' the Colony, I preached 
from Matth. 21. 43. About a Countreyes losing the Kingdome of 
God, by their Unfruitfulncss; deprecating that Calamity, lest it over- 
take N. E. 

29)d.2m. I preached on, Heb. 11. 26. A Respect unto the 
Recompence of Reward. 

2d. 3m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Jam. 4. 11. 
Mens' eiiil Speaking one of another. A Vice raging in the place. 

5 d. 3 m. I preached on Heb. 11. 27. Faith seeing the Invisible 
God, and being therefore stout and strong in obedience to that God. 

12 d. 7,m. I preached, on Luk. 23. 34. The first Word of our 
dying Saviour on the Cross. Designing if the Lord please, to insist 
on all the Seven, in their Order. 

i()d.2,m. I preached on Heb. 11. 28. Christ, our Passeover; 
and the Sprinkling of His Blood. 

26 d. 2,tn. I preached on Mat. 23. 23. Sins of Omission. 

29 d. 3 m. Wednesday. I preached, unto the Great and Gen- 
eral Assembly, convened for the Anniversary Election; on Psal. 147. 
20. God's dealing with N. E. as not with any Nation. 
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390 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

2 (/. 4 m. I preached, on Heb. ii. 28. Ordinances, attended 
in Faith; particularly, the Hearing of the Word. 

gd. 4 m. I preached on Heb. 11. 28. Faith exercised in attend- 
ence on Sacraments. (And I administred the Eucharist.) 

12 d. 4 m. Wednesday. I preached, at Newtown, on 2. Thess. 3. i. 
Prayer, for a free course, and Glory of the Gospel, and for a Blessing 
on them that preach it. (A Fast being this day kept, by the Flock 
there, for their sick Minister.) 

ibd.^m. I preached on Heb. 11. 29. Faith, profitable to 
others as well as ourselves, and not terrified by the most terrible 
Distresses; and taking the Way of Duty, tho' full of Danger; and 
being lively in the Jawes of Death; and making Sin, be as tho' it 
had not been; and being useful to obtain a good passage thro' the 
Sea, etc. 

23<i. 4»». I preach'd on Job. 27. 12. Enforcing Lessons of 
Piety, from the Experience of the Neighbourhood; in \arious Instances, 
repeating, what they themselves have seen, to instruct them. 

27 d. 4 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Phil. 4. 5. 
Moderation. (The E. of Bellomont, and General Assembly present) 

30 d. 4 m. I preached on Heb. 11. 29. Ungodly men's vain 
Confidence of Safety; the Churches Adversaries confounded; Sin 
retaliated. 

T d. $m. I preached, on Joh. 19. 26. The second Word of our 
Saviour on the Cross. 

14 d. s m. I preached on Heb. 11. 30. The Destruction of the 
Romish Jericho; Nothing too strong for a strong Faith; Comfort and 
Success from the Presence of Christ; X'ictory obtained by Faith; 
unlikely means bringing about illustrious Ends. Blessings disp>ensed 
on the seventh Day. 

21 d. 5 m. I preached on Rev. 2. 3. Not Fainting in Labour 
for Christ, (being left here alone in the Ministry.) 

25 d. s m. Thursday. I preached, on Joh. 14. 27. Lett not your 
Hearts be troubled. (Being under many E.xercises.) 

2&d. s m. I preached on Heb. 11. 31. The Vilest of Sinners, 
made the Highest of Saints, and sav'd by BeleeN-ing, etc. 

4 d. 6 wj. I preached on i. Joh. i. 7. The Blood of Jesus Christ 
the Son of God, cleansing from all Sin. (And I administred the 
Eiicharisl.) 

11 d. 6 m. I preached on Isa. 26. g. Learning Righteousness and 
Religion, from the Judgments of God. (Because many Judgments, 
especially, in early, sudden, tragical Ihatlis, fell out, the last week.) 
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FEBRUARY, 170O-OI 391 

i$d. 6m. Thursday. The Lecture was turned into a Fast, 
because of the Drought; and I preached on Num. 14. 19. Prayer 
for the Pardon of a sinful People, and Mercy pleaded in that Prayer. 

i8d.6m. I preached on Heb. 11. 32. Eminent Beleevers not 
recorded in the Scriptures, and the Fulness of the Scriptures; and 
our Time being little enough, yea, much too little, to do all we have 
to do for the Glory of God. 

25 d. 6 m. I preached on. Lev. 19. 17. Christian Reproof. 
(And I dispensed publickly, the Censure of Admonition, unto a 
scandalous Offender.) 

1 d. T m. I preached, on Deut. 26. 17. Avouching the Lord 
for our God. (And I administred the Eucharist.) 

^d. T m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, at Ipswich, on Joh. 
14. 27. 

8d. y m. I preached, both parts of the Day, at Salem, on Isa. 
46. 8. 

j^d. 1 m. I preached on Mar. 10. 21. The Insufficiency of 
meer Morality, to bring a man unto everlasting Life. 

igd. Tm. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Eccl. 12. 5. 
The Carriage of a Christian at a Funeral. (Funerals being multi- 
plied; and this a Subject of Importance never handled.) 

29 i. J m. I preached, on Mat. 9. 12. Christ, the Physician 
of Souls, diseased with Sin, and sensible of their Diseases. (Myself 
Recovering out of Sickness.) 

6d.8m. I preached, on Rom. 8. 28. All things working together 
for the Good of Good Men. 

13 d.8m. I preached, on Rom. 8. 21. Love to God. 

17 d. 8 m. Thursday, I preached the Lecture, on Heb. 2. 18. 
How a tempted Christian should address the Lord Jesus Christ, for 
Succour under and against his Temptations. (Expertus loguor.) 

20 d.8m. I preached, on Rom. 8. 28. Effectual calling, ac- 
cording to the eternal Purpose of God. (.A.nd now, my Father is 
returned.) 

27 d. 8 m. I preached on Luk. 23. 43. The third Word of our 
dying Lord on the Cross. (And I administred the Eucharist.) 

3d. gm. I preached, on Luk. 23. 43. and from the Exemple of 
the converted Theef, discoursed on the wonderful Grace of God, in 
the Conversion and Salvation of the greatest Sinners. 

10 d. gm. I preached, on Prov. 28. 20. A Faithful Man, 
abounding with Blessings 

14 d. 9 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Luk. 5. 20. 

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392 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

The Forgiveness of Sin, attaineable; and how declared and assured 
unto the Forgiven. 

ijd.gm. I preached, Col. 2. 7. Thanksgiving, and an Abun- 
dance in it, and for it: And the right Way of celebrating A Day of 
Thanksgiving, (praeparatory to such a Day, at hand.) 

21 d. gm. Thursday. It being a Day of Thanksgiving, throughout 
the Province, I finished the Discourse about Abounding in Thanks- 
giving, begun the last Lord's-day. 

24 d. 9 m. I preached on Mat. 27. 46. The fourth Word of our 
dying Lord on the Cross. 

1 d. 10 m. I finished, what I began the last Lord's-Day, 

Sd. 10 m. I preached on Heb. 12. i Running the Christian 
Race. 

12 d. 10 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Joh. 21: 20. 
Disciple whom Jesus loves. 

15 d. 10 m. I preached, on Heb. 12. i. The Patience necessary, 
in running the Course of Christianity. 

22 d. 10 m. I preached, on Joh. 19. 28. The fifth Word of our 
dying Lord, on the Cross. (And I adminstred the Eucharist.) 

29 d. 10 OT. I preached, on Heb. 12. i, The Cloud of Witnesses. 

sd. II m. I preached, on Heb. 12. i. Laying aside every Weight. 

g d. II m. Thursday. I preached, ■with a great Assistence, to a 
great Assembly, on Gen. 50. 20. The Good meant unto good Men, 
by all their Troubles in a troublesome world. 

i2d.iim. I preached on Heb. 12. i. The Sin that easily 
besets us. 

19 d. n m. I preached, on Heb. 12. 2. Looking unto Jesus. 

26 d. II tn. I went on with it. 

2 d. 12 m. I preached both parts of the Day, (my Father being 
Ul.) In the Forenoon, on Heb. 12. 2. The Author and Finisher of 
our Faith. In the Afternoon, on Jam. i. 12. Enduring Templacon. 
(It being with myself a Time of much Temptation.) 

6d. 12 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Job. 19. 25. 
The Living Redeemer. (My Son Santutl, at this Time, lay a dying.) 

gd. 12 m. I preached, on Job. 35. 10. The Songs of the Saints 
in the darkest Night of Affliction. (My Son Samuel, at this Time 
lying dead,) 



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lyoi 

THE XXXrXTH YEAR OF MY LIFE. 

12 d. 12 m. Wednesday. 

I happen to begin this New Year of my Life, with a 
very agreeable Employment. 

The six Friends, who published my Vindication from the 
Abuses of our calumnious and malicious Adversary [the 
first of the seven is gone to a better World,] being willing 
to committ their good Cause imto the Hands of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, I sent for them, and spent this Day with them 
in my Study, where we fasted, and prayed, and sang Psalms: 
and we also putt over our Adversary imto the Hands of 
our Almighty Lord, with SuppUcations, that He would send 
His Angel, to stop that Ul man, from going on any further 
in his wicked Enterprises. 

We had other Petitions to present unto the Lord; and 
unto one of them, we received, even while we were together 
after Supper in the Evening, an immediate and remarkable 
Answer. 

The Lord putt it into the Hearts of my Friends, to 
entreat of Him, that my Father and myself might not be 
left alone in our Testimony to the Order of the Gospels in 
the Churches, but that He would raise the Spirits of some 
other faithful Ministers to second us. 

Now, I had lately proposed unto the two most aged 
Ministers yett surviving in the Countrey, A Testimony to 
THE Order of the Gospel; and suggested the good Con- 
sequences of their emitting it. God perswaded them ; and 
this Day I received it from them, signed by their aged Hands : 

[393I 
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394 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

which accordingly I forthwith printed, and so sent it abroad 
into all the Land.' If the Lord smile upon this Action, it 
will be attended with an incredible Benefit. 

I am very much concerned about one thing. My little 
Daughter Nanny, has her unknown Distemper stUl hanging 
about her; she languishes, and perishes, under a Pain in the 
lower Part of her Belly, which the ablest physicians in the 
Town, confess they do not know how to cure. I cry to 
the Lord about it; yea, I have received once and again a 
Particular Faith from Heaven (as I thought) that the Child 
shall be recovered. And yett the Malady proceeds, even 
to an hopeless Extremity. Lord ! what shall I think of this 
thing! 

1 701 

I d. 1 m. [March] Satureday. To obtain the Blessing of 
God, on my Ministry, and my Family; and a Defence 
against the Enemies of His Churches here, who are also 
Enemies full of Malignity against myself, I sett apart 
this Day for prayer, with Fasting in Secret before the 
Lord. 

Nothing remarkable occurred in the Day. Only I 
thought I felt upon my Mind a Perswasion from Heaven, 
that the Lord will quickly appear, with wonderful Dispen- 
sations, to retrieve and revive the evangehcal Interests, in 
the European Parts of the World. 

About this Time, I drew up, (at the Desire of a General 
Convention of the Ministers of the Pro\-ince), A Testimony 
UNTO THE Order of the Gospel, in the important Paint of, 
the Consociation of Churches. 

14 (f. I w. Friday. This Day again, I had the Company 
of my six Friends with me, at my Study, engaged in the 
Duties of Prayer, with Fasting, on the same Occasions that 
thus employ 'd us a Month ago. 

' John HiRKinson and William Hubbard were the two ministers, and the book 
was printed by T. Green, 1701. 

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MARCH, 1700-01 395 

And on this Day again, we received a remarkable Answer 
of Prayer. 

These absurd and wicked Men, who are the Adversaries 
of the Churches, made a grievous Clamour, against the 
Testimony given by the two aged Servants of Christ, unto 
the Order of the Gospel among us, which we received a Month 
ago, as if it were none of theirs but a meer Trick of mine; 
and the Speaker of the House of Representatives particularly 
managed a Peece of MaUce in the House, to affront the 
Testimony, on that Suggestion; and they went on to rail 
and lye with some further Calumnies: but God putt it into 
the Heart of the Reverend old Mr. Higginson, to write a 
Letter imto the Deputies of the Province now assembled, 
wherein he solemnly declared the Testimony sign'd by him, 
to be his own deUberate Act and Deed, and then added 
his Reasons for emitting such a Testirrumy, which Reasons 
were weighty and awful, and full of Spirit. This Letter was 
dehvered on this Day: and upon the DeUvery of it, the 
Deputies voted Thanks, to the two old Gentlemen, for 
their Testimony. Thus the Adversaries of the Churches, 
have overwhelmed themselves, and brought Confusion 
on their own Cause, by their foolish Attempts to blast 
me, and I at the same Time receive a triumphant Vin- 
dication. 

It was better than a Feast unto us, at the End of 
our Fast, for to be entertained with the Tidings of this 
Matter. 

About this Time, I praepared for, and committed to the 
Press, another Composure. Having entertained a Company 
of Christians, at a private Meeting, with a Discourse, which 
the Master of the Family thought agreeable; he desired a 
Copy of it, which I gave him; a Discourse containing, 
Lessons to be learn'd in the Schole of Affliction. But hereto 
I added another Discourse, formerly and more publickly 
dehvered, consisting of. Cordials to be taken in the Time of 

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396 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Affliction. The whole I entituled, A Companion for the 
Afflicted.' 

Memorandum. Now again I see, Faith is not a Fancy. 
My little Daughter Nanny is wonderfully recovered. The 
Lord show'd us how to encounter the Malady. The Child 
is gott abroad again; perfectly free from any Sign of her 
late Illness; and her Strength comfortably returns unto her. 

T)d. 2 m. [April.] Thursday. This Day, I had an Experi- 
ment of two things which I have often before experienced. 
And tho' my great Employment, and greater Slothfulness, 
does not permitt me, to record abundance of such Passages, 
yett I would compel myself now and then to enter some of 
them, upon Record, in these Papers. 

First, I often find, that when I preach of the Angels, or 
on a Subject (such as the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ,) 
very singularly agreeable to the Angels, I have a more than 
ordinary Assistence in my pubUc Ministrations. My ^lind, 
and Voice and Strength, is e\'idently imder some special 
Energy from the invisible World; and a notable Fervenc}- 
and Majesty and Powerful pungency setts off mj- Dis- 
courses. 

Again, I often find, that when I am to do an)- singular 
Service for the Lord Jesus Christ, and have any singular 
Presence of His, in the doing of it, I must be prspared for 
it, by sore Buffetings. Either my Soul is much disturbed, 
and very particularly sick of what I have composed: or 
else my Health is disturbed, and I am so enfeebled that I 
think I am able to do nothing at all: and then, I am wonder- 
fully enlarged, in coming to do, what I ha\^e to do. 

This Day in preaching on The Lord JESUS CHRIST, 
as the Wonder of .Angels, I found those Things accomphshed. 

5 rf. 2 m. Saturcday. I find the Enemies of the Churches, 
are sett with an implacable Enmity against myself. And 
one vile Fool, namely R. Co//, is employ'd by them to go on, 

' Printed by T. Green for Samuel Sewall, Jr. 

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APRIL, 1701 397 

with more of his filthy Scribbles, to hurt my precious Oppor- 
tunities of glorifying my Lord Jesus Christ. I had need 
be much in Prayer unto my Glorious Lord, that He would 
praeserve His poor Servant from the Mahce of this evil 
Generation, and of that vile man particularly. 

I sett apart this Day, for Prayer, with Fasting, before 
the Lord, in this Occasion. And I obtained Assurance from 
Heaven, that the Lord will gloriously Defend me, and 
employ me, and rescue and encrease my Opportunities: 
and I shall quickly see a wonderful Thing! 

The Concerns of my Ministry also, (wherein I am again 
left much alone, by my Father's Removal to Cambridge,) 
and of my Family, and of the Church, I carried this Day 
unto the Lord. 

II d. 2 m. Friday. Because I would beseech the Lord 
thrice, I had my six Friends this Day a third Time with me 
in my Study, spending it in Prayers (and Psalms) with 
Fasting before the Lord: that the Lord would send His 
Angel to stop our Adversary in the Course of his Wickedness; 
(which the Lord will do!) And that we may obtain some 
other Favours of Heaven. 

It was promised unto the Lord, that if He would hear us 
wee would meet again, and spend a Day in His Praises: 
(when we will also consider, how we should further praise 
Him.) 

I did likewise promise, that I would sett myself to do 
some special Service, in an Endeavour that the signal 
Providence of God, may be observed, remembred, and 
improved. 

24 d. 2 m. Thursday. T'was a pubhc Fast, in which I 
enjoy'd considerable Assistences. 

In my Sermon, I lett fall these words; "There is much 
Reason to suspect, that a War is breaking forth in Europe. 
In the late Peace of Reswyck,^ the Wind came not about the 

' In May, 1697, the Congress of Ryswyk was opened, and on September 20 

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398 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

right way; there must be another Storm, and War, before 
all clear up, according to our Desires. If it should be so, 
there is much Reason to suspect, that the French Oppressor, 
who wants nothing but New England, for to render him the 
Master of all America, and has been under Provocation 
enough to fall foul upon us, may before we do so much as 
hear of a War proclaimed, utterly swallow us up." 

Three Dayes after this, there arrived very surprising 
Intelligence indeed; which represented unto us, all Europe 
in a new Flame, on the Union between France and Spain; 
the Nations are in a prodigious Convulsion; Great Britain, 
is particularly in an extreme Hazard and Ferment; and the 
Plantations are in a very hazardous CondiCon.' 

Beholding a most astonishing Security and Stupidity, 
on my Countrey, I made a short Extract, of Certain 
Select Passages, in certain Books about the State of 
Europe, and the American Plantations, now come over; and 
that I might excite the Prayers of all men, and the Cares 
of good men, proper for the present Circumstances, I gave 
them to some of the Council, who printed it. 

About the Beginning of the next Month, I mett T\ith 
astonishing Accounts, of the Sufferings undergone by the 
Protestants in the French Kings Galleyes; and of the Lord's 
wonderful Works, in supporting them under their Suffer- 
ings and converting some at the Sight thereof. I thought, 
it would be many Wayes a Service unto the Christians in 
this Countrey, to be informed thereof ; and therefore I not 
only commimicated unto the Ministers at their weekly 
IMeeting, an Abstract which I had made hereof, but also 
printed it, under the Title of, A Letter, concerjjixg the 

SUPFERINGS OF OUR PrOTESTANT BRETHREN. 

10 d. 3 m. [May.] Satureday. To obtain Deliverance for 

a general peace was concluded, involving England, Holland, France and Spain. 
Under it, France regained Nova Scotia. 
' The war of the Spanish succession. 

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MAY, I 7 O I 399 

the Protestant Religion and Interest, and for the EngHsh 
Nation, and for my own poor Countrey, now dreadfidly 
exposed in the Storm that is began upon Europe; and to 
obtain a Blessing from God, on my Ministry, and on my 
Family; and a Defence against my implacable Enemies, 
that are seeking the Ruine of my precious Opportunities to 
glorify my Lord Jesus Christ: I sett apart this Day, for 
the Duties of a Secret Fast; and I was not without some 
comfortable Tokens of the Lord's Presence with me in my 
Duties. 

Especially, when I was committing into His Hands, my 
Church-History, now in London. 

15 J. 3 w. Thursday. The Lecture of Boston, was (upon 
my Motion) turned into a Fast; because of the Difficulties 
upon the Church of God abroad, and our own threatening 
Circumstances. On this Fast, I preached in the Afternoon. 

23 (/. 3 w. I spent this Day, in the Exercises of a Fast, 
on such Occasions, as formerly. 

On the Lord's-day following, I had a singular Entertain- 
ment and Encouragement. Having preached with a great 
Assistence, in a very great Assembly in the pubUc, a Ser- 
mon, about shunning of bad Company, I appointed the young 
Men that belong unto our Young-Mens Meetings, to attend 
me, at one of their Meetings, in the Evening. There came 
together, I think, near one hundred serious devout young 
Men, to whom I further preached on the Danger and Folly 
of Bad-Covipany. The young Men desired a Copy of my 
Sermon, and I gratified their Desire, by giving it unto the 
Printer under the Title of. The Young mans Preservative. 
At the End, I added, a remarkable History of a young 
Gentleman, converted unto an Heavenly Life, and rescued 
from the Snares of evil Company. 

31 </. 3 m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, for the 
Exercises of a secret Fast: especially referring to those 
wonderful Points of my Particular Faith, which are not 

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400 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

yett accomplished; and which keept me in Distress, because 
of their not being yett accomplished. 

And, behold, while I am himibly expostulating with the 
Lord, about it. He renewes the Particular Faith of those 
very Points upon me. 

6d. 4 m. [June] Friday. I spent this Day also, in the 
like Exercise, on the same Occasions. 

Memorandum. The Lord supports and comforts my 
Faith about my Church-History. 

13 (/. 4 OT. This Day, I received Letters from London, 
which give me still to see that Faith is no Fancy. 

My Church-History, is a bulky thing, of about 250 
sheets. The Impression will cost about 600 lb. The Book- 
sellers in London are cold about it. The Proposals for 
Subscriptions, are of an imcertain and a tedious Event. 

But behold, what my Friend Mr. Bromfield, writes me 
from London, March 28, 1701: 

"There is one Mr. Robert Hackshaw, a very serious and Godly 
man, who proposes to print the Ecclesiastical History of N. E. which 
you intrusted me withal. He is willing to print it, at his own 
Charge, and give you as many Books (I beleeve) as you desire. 
When he proposed it to me, I told him, Syr, God has answered Mr. 
Mather's Prayers. He declared He did it not with any Expectation 
of Gain to himself, but for the Glory of God, and that he might be 
a Means to midwife so good a Work into the World. And did you 
know him so well as I so, you would beleeve him." 

21 d. ^m. Satureday. That wonderful Matter of my 
Father's Agency, which had such a Sentence of Death upon 
it, about a year ago, is now to my Astonishment again 
revived so far, that there is this week a strange Operation 
of Things in the General Assembly towards it.' 

Whether it will now be brought about or no, we know 
not; but my mind is in Distress about it. Wherefore I 
sett apart this Day, for Prayer with Fasting in my study, 
to commit it into the Hands of the Lord. 

' Quincy, History of Harvard University, l. 144. 

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JULY, 1701 401 

Memorandum. The Lord gives me a Particular Faith, 
in Prayer, that I shall shortly understand, that He has 
accepted some of my poor Composures, to glorify Him, in 
other parts of the World. 

lid. <,m. {July] Satureday. Being to preach about Holi- 
ness tomorrow, I thought it proper for me, this Day to 
humble myself before the Lord, in the Sense of my Unholi- 
ness, and obtain from Him the Influences, that might make 
me very holy. I sett apart this Day, in part for that End. 

I have also some Thoughts concerning my Taking a 
Journey to (Salem and) Ipswich, within a week; or two; 
and my having there a very great Opportunity to glorify 
my Saviour, and edify His People. I therefore carried the 
whole affayr of that Journey, this Day before the Lord; 
that all the Circumstances of it, may be ordered in very 
Faithfulness: And particularly, that the fond Expectations 
of the People, flocking in great Multitudes to hear me, may 
not provoke the Lord, any way to leave me unto Confusion, 
as a Chastisement for their Vanity. 

But as I observed a strange Coldness in my Prayers, 
about my Journey to Ipswich, so there fell out Something 
the next week, which wholly putt by my Purposes of going 
thither at all. 

However, the Lord wiU not reject me, from serving my 
Lord Jesus Christ, I composed a Discourse on the Glories 
and Wonders, that shine in the Lord JESUS CHRIST, I 
discoursed on Him, extoUing Him as the Wonder of Angels. 
And being desirous to invite many others to join with me 
in wondring at Him, I gave the httle Treatise to the Book- 
seller; entituled, Thaumatographia Christiana, or. The 
Wonders of Christianity.' 

Preaching a Sermon at the Lecture about being in the 
Fear of God all the day long, the Lord has bless'd my Sermon 
to myself, I beleeve, more than to any one of all my Hearers. 

* Printed by B. Green and J. Allen for Samuel Sewall, Jr., 1701. 
I ■ 26 

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402 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

For it strangely revived and strengthened, my own Methods 
of a daily Walk with God. And I must humbly acknowledge, 
that I feel a strange Efficacy and Serenity arising from such 
a methodical Walk with God. 

^i d. $m. Ships arrived from England. And I am en- 
tertained with especially two observeable Passages, which 
relates unto myself. 

The first is this. I received a Letter from a Gentleman 
in London, in which are these words: "Your Spanish Faith, 
is gone further, than it may be, you thought for. Mr. 
Chamberlain, an Acquaintance of mine, by reason of his 
being employed by the religious Societies, as a Secretary for 
them, has a Correspondence with the French and Dutch 
Ministers in Holland. They have now at the Hague with 
them, a considerable Spanish, or Portuguese Proselyte, who 
desired such a thing as that was, and said, he could make 
great use of it. Accordingly we have sent it to them, and 
received Abundance of Thanks. This Portuguese Proselyte, 
is of a very good family, in his owia Countrey, and was in 
orders there. And he does declare, that Portugal is very 
ripe for a Reformation, if it were well sett afoot there. I 
pray God, hasten it, in its Time!" 

The second is this. Many (it may be, more than seven) 
Years ago, a Bookseller going from hence to London, carried 
certain Manuscripts of mine with him, declaring his Inten- 
tions to publish them. He carelessly left them in the Hands 
of Mr. Cockeril, a Bookseller there; who some time after 
dyed; and I could never hear what became of my Manu- 
scripts; but with humble Submission to the Will of the 
Lord, therein, I gave them over for lost. After all, a 
Friend of mine going the last Summer for London, did the 
last Winter enquire after my Manuscripts; and strangely 
recovering of them, he carried them unto another Book- 
seller, who published them; and they are now, many of them, 
come over into the Countrey. The Book, wliich has had 

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SEPTEMBER, 170I 4O3 

such a Resurrection from the Dead, has this Title, Death 
MADE Easy and Happy. 

2d. 6 m. [August.] Satureday. The dreadful Storm, that 
is beginning on the Nations of Europe, and that is impend- 
ing over New England, (and particularly, the Destruction of 
all our Charters, which is on foot in the Parliament,) gives 
additional Causes, besides my usual ones, to be this Day, 
in the Duties of a Secret Fast before the Lord: and I was 
accordingly. 

23 d. 6 m. Satureday. Purposing a Journey to Salem 
(and Ipswich) the next week, I sett apart this Day, espe- 
cially to pray for a Blessing upon it, and upon all the 
Circumstances of it. 

On Tuesday, 26 d.tm.l travelled unto Salem; and the 
day following unto Ipswich; where on Thursday I preached 
the Lecture. On Friday I returned unto Salem. On the 
Lord's-day, I preached there both parts of the Day. On 
the Wednesday I preached the Lecture there ; and on Thurs- 
day I returned Home. The Lord smiled on my Journey, 
and filled it with Comfort and Service. 

Much about this Time, I propounded unto myself, some 
Advantage to the evangehcal Interests, by giving to the 
pubUck two Discourses; one directing a Christian in his 
general Calling; another directing him in his personal Call- 
ing. These Discourses I entituled, A Christian at his 
Calling; and gave them unto the Bookseller.' 

18 i. 7 w. [September] Thursday. This Day, was a gen- 
eral Fast, thro' the Province. 

One Day this week, I mett with a particular Experience 
(as I have often done, tho' thro' my sinful Sloth, I have not 
recorded it,) that may serve to illustrate the Operation of 
the Holy Spirit, upon the Words of the Faithful on their 
Prayers, and the great Occasion and Advantage, which 
there may be of my observing, what Words I am drawn to 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, for Samuel Sewall, Jr., 1701. 

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404 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

utter, when I am under the most praying Energies of the 
Lord. 

Wee received Advice, that the Husband of a young 
Gentlewoman a little related unto me, was come to a tragi- 
cal Death, in a Fight with a Zallee-Man of War. In my 
visit unto her upon this Advice, I went to Prayer with her, 
as it was my Duty. She had a sister in the Room who was 
also a young Widow, and had been so for many months. 
Now, in my Prayer, I found myself strangely diverted from 
the Condition of the person to whom only I intended my 
Visit. I was as it were compelled so to Word my Prayer, 
as to take in all along the Condition of her Sister; even as 
if my Prayer had been cheefly, if not only, for her. I 
wondred a little, at my Frame in this Matter. 

But the Spirit of the Lord knew what I did not know. 
Within two Dayes, there arrived Intelligence, that the 
young Man, the Husband of the supposed Widow, to whom 
I gave my Visit, was yett Uving. 

27 (i. 7 m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, for the 
Devotions of a secret Fast. 

And this Day, I obtained from the Lord, great Per- 
swasions and Assurances of His Blessing upon my Church- 
History (the PubUcation whereof has been unhappily clog'd 
by some Dispositions of the Gentleman, to whom I first 
sent it.) 

My Wife's Father, being upon a second Marriage, and 
it being, there withal a Time of much Temptacon, with him- 
self and his Family; I thought it needful to spread the Case, 
this way and this Day, before the Lord. ' 

3 (i. 8 m. [October.] Friday. I sett apart this Day, for 
the Devotions of a secret THANKSGIVING in my Study. 

I spent it in such Exercises, and with such Affections, 
as I use to have on such Dayes. 

But the more special Favours, of Heaven, which I singled 

' John Phillips married Sarah Graves, October or November, 1701. 

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OCTOBER, 170I 405 

out, for the more special Subjects of my Thanksgiving, 
were; 

1. The notable Answers of Prayer, which I have received, 
as in the Prolongation of my Life, unto this Day, so in the 
Restoration of my Health, as it is at this Day. 

2. The wonderful Defeats, which God has given to all 
the subtil and raging mahce of my Enemies who, tho' for 
my FideUty to the evangeUcal Interests, they have tried all 
the Wayes they can to blast my Opportunities of servmg 
the Lord, all their Councils are turned into Foolishness. 

3. The Lord's carrying over my Church-History safely 
into England, after He had helped me to compose that, and 
many otho' Works which Hee has accepted, and ordered to be 
pubUshed, and given Hopes for the Pubhcation of that also. 

4. My continual Opportunities to do good, both by 
Preaching and Printing, above what are enjoyed, by most 
of the Servants of the Lord, in the World. 

And on these Points, I likewise poured out Supplica- 
tions, with Faith and Joy, for further Favours of the Lord. 

But there was another signal Article of my Praises to 
the Lord, on this Day; and this was, the Confluence of 
Blessings, which I enjoy in my dearest Consort, who bore 
me Company in some of the Duties of the Day. Her 
Piety, the agreeable Charms of her Person, her obUging 
Deportment unto me, her Discretion in ordering my and 
her Affairs, and avoiding every thing that might be dis- 
honourable to either of us, and the lovely Off-Spring that I 
have received by her, and her being spared imto me for 
now more than Fifteen Years; these are things that I should 
thankfully acknowledge before the Lord. 

About this Time I finished a Work, which cost me much 
Time, and Care, and Study. I wrote in a Book of above an 
hundred pages in Quarto, an account of the Principles and 
Practices in the Churches of New England. But I embel- 
lished it all along, with a further Account of what was done 

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4o6 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

in the primitive Churches, which required some exquisite 
Labor. I concluded, that a Book of this Importance, 
would have a mighty Tendency, to preserve the holy Dis- 
cipline in our own Churches, from the Dangers of the 
Apostasy which may threaten it, and promote the Designs 
of Reformation abroad in the world. I do, for many Rea- 
sons, contrive the Work, into the Form, of a Letter to my 
Lord of Haversham; and I entitle it. Ratio DisciPLEsriE 
Fratrum Nov-Anglorum or, A Faithful Account, etc. 

And now I send it unto London, resolving to follow it, 
with many Prayers and Cries unto the Lord." 

Moreover, I thought, it might glorify my Lord JESUS 
CHRIST, if I should exhibit His Exemple unto my Neigh- 
bours, in publishing some evangelical Discourses, upon that 
noble and holy Subject. Wherefore I gave two Discourses 
thereupon, unto the Booksellers; who publish them, under 
the Title of Christianity to the Life.' 

' It was printed in Boston in 1726, by S. Gerrish. 

' Printed in 1702. 

"Oct'r 20. [In margin: 'Opprobrium. Mr. Cotton Mather sjjeaks hard 
words of me.'] Mr. Cotton Mather came to Mr. [RichardJ Wilkins's shop, and 
there talked ven.' sharply against me as if I had used his father worse than a Neger; 
spake .so loud that people in the street might hear him. Then went and told Sam, 
that one pleaded much (or Negros, and he had used his father worse than a Negro, 
and told him that was his Father. I had read in the mom Mr. Dod's sa.xdng; 
Sanctified .^ffictions are good Promotions. I found it now a cordial. And this 
caus'd me the rather to set under my Father and Mother's Epitaph, — Psal. 27. 10. 

"It may be it would be arrogance for me to think that I, as one of Christ's 
Witnesses, am slain, or ly dead in the street. 

"Oct'r 9. I sent Mr Increase Mather a Hanch of very good Venison; I 
hope in that I did not treat him as a Xcgro. . . . 

"October 22, 1701. 1, with Major Walley and Capt. Sam'l Checkly, speak 
with Mr. Cotton Mather at Mr. Wilkins's. I e.tpostulated with him from i Tim. 
5. 1. Rebuke not an elder. He said he had considered that: I told him of his 
book of the Law of Kindness for the Tongue, whether this were correspondent with 
that. Whether correspondent with Christ's Rule: He said, having spoken to me 
before there was no need to speak to me again; and so justified his reviling me 
behind my back. Charg'd the Council with L\ing, Hypocrisy, Tricks, and I 
know not what all. I ask'd him if it were done with that Meekness as it should; 
answer'd yes. Charg'd the Council in (jcneral, and then show'd my share, which 
was my sfxich in Count il; viz. if .Mr. [Increase] Mather should goe to Cambridge 
again to reside there with a Resolution not to read the Scriptures, and expound in 

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OCTOBER, I7OI 407 

2$d. Sm. Saiureday. I sett apart this Day, for Prayer 
with Fasting before the Lord. 

Many were the Occasions of it. But one, upon which I 
peculiarly insisted in my SuppHcations, was to ask for a 
Blessing of God upon my Church-History now in London. 
And I think, the Lord favoured me, with the Consolations 
of a particular Faith, for the Blessing which I desired of Him. 

About this Time, as the Effect of not small Pains nor 
few Prayers, I sent unto the Press, a Work which is contrived 
many wayes to serve the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and promote good Knowledge and Practice in the World. 
I took the New English (my Grandfather Cotton's) Cate- 
chism, and in twenty six Exercises upon it (which may be 
twice gone over in the 52 Sabbaths of a Year) I gave the 
whole Body of Divinity, in so famihar and inteUigible Quces- 
tions, that a bare. Yes, or No, is the whole Answer to them 
all; and yett stUl asserted with pertinent Scriptures Hereto 
I added the Assemblies Catechism with the like (but a 
shorter) Operation upon it. But I did also fill up the Book, 
with many other Essayes, tho' briefer ones, with as exquisite 
Contrivance as I was able, to advance the Interests of the 
Christian Religion, among all sorts of Persons. I intended 
it, as a Book of great use, to all Christians, but especially 
to Christian Housholders. And the Lord in answer to my 
poor Cries unto Him, inspired my Neighbours, with a 

the Hall: I fear the example of it will do more hurt than his going thither will doe 
good. This speech I owned. Said Mr. Corwin at Reading, upbraided him, saying. 
This is the man you dedicate your books to? I ask'd him If I should suppose he 
had done somthing amiss in his Church as an Officer; whether it would be well for 
me to exclaim against him in the street for it. (Mr. Wilkins would fain have had 
him gon into the inner room, but he would not.) I told him I conceiv'd he had 
done much unbecoming a Minister of the Gospel. . . . 

"Oct'r 24. I got Mr. Moody to copy out my Speech, and gave it to Mr. 
Wilkins that all might see what was the ground of Mr. Mather's Anger. Writ out 
another and gave it to Joshua Gee. I perceive Mr. Wilkins carried his to Mr. 
Mathers; They seem to grow calm." Sewall, Diary, n. 43. See also his Letter 
Book, I. 263, 264. Peace was had between them at the end of the year. See 
Sewall to Mather, December 31, 1701, in Lell'r Book, 1. 266. 

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408 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

mighty Zeal; to forward the Publication of this Work. So 
I gave it unto the Booksellers; entituled, The Faithfxjl 
Instructor. Tis twelve Sheets, in print.' 

The Month of November most of it passed me, without 
any remarkable Experiences. The Lord helped me to go 
on in his comfortable Service; and I enjoy'd many Com- 
forts in it.' 

On 20 d. 9 m. [November.] was a Day of Public Thanks- 
giving; in which I enjoyed the favourable Assistences of the 
Lord. And I concluded the Day, with many Resolutions, 
to be yett more serviceable, in my Family, and in my Min- 
istry; whereof I may give a further Account, when I arrive 
to the Executions of them. 

I wrote a Poem of Consolations under Blindness, unto 
an aged and pious Gentlewoman, visited with total Blind- 
ness: Which her Son-in-Law pubUshed. 

6 d. 10 m. [December.] Saturcday. I doubt, lest by Pros- 
perity, I fall into Security, I dare not go any longer, with- 
out my old IMethods, of Praying with Fasting in secret 
Places. I sett apart this Day for the Exercises of a Fast 
in my Study; and for extraordinary Prayer, tho' I had not 
many Occasions but the ordinan,' and perpetual Ones, which 
indeed are enough to keep me perpetually on my Knees 
before the Lord. 

I enjoyed something of the Divine Presence with me, 
this Day; and this especially, when I did in a Prayer pecu- 
liarly for that Purpose, address the Lord, for His Blessing 
on my Clmrch-IIistory. My Faith used a great ^'a^iety of 
Argument in pleading with the Lord, that the History, 

' Maschil, or Ihr Faithful Instructor, printed by B. Green and J. Allen in 1702. 

' " rf. 9 m (.Votif mftrr.) Nathanatl Shaw, h.Tving been convicted of many 
Scandals, as bcinR i. a notoriou? cvil-company-keeper; and 2. gi\en up to Gaming, 
and Idleness, and Neglect of his calling, with his evil company; and 3. often omit- 
ting the worship of God in his family; and 4. bcinR frequently drunk; but now fled 
out of the province; the Church this day laid him under Censure, and agreed that 
a solemn Admonition should be sent aftt-r him." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of 
the Second Clnir, h, II. 

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JANUARY, 1701-02 409 

which He has helped me to write, of His glorious Works in 
these American Churches might not be lost, but be pre- 
served and published and prospered, and find Acceptance 
among His People. It will be so! I have prevailed! I 
have prevailed! 

20 d. 10 m. Satureday. On the same (and some other) 
Occasions, I sett apart this Day likewise, as a Day of Prayer 
in my Study. 

Especially, to obtain a Blessing on my Church-History. 

2,d. 11 m. [January.] Satureday. I did the like again. 

And on one of these Dayes, I imposed it as a Task upon 
myself, to fill my Soul with many humbling Thoughts of 
Sin, and of my own Sin, and of the Evil in my Sin; Thoughts 
raised from all sorts of Objects, occurring to me in the Inter- 
vals of my more fixed Meditations and Exercises, through- 
out the Day. I found a singular and sanctifying Vertue 
in this way of proceeding. 

ij d. 11 m. Satureday. I repeted the like Exercises, on 
the like Occasions. 

And the Lord raises my Faith concerning my Church- 
History, to a considerable Elevation and Satisfaction." 

31 (f. II m. Satureday. I was again before the Lord, on 
the same occasions that I was a Fortnight ago, praying and 
fasting in my Study. 

. When I was this Day carrying my Church-History before 
the Lord, confessing the Sins of it, and all my otiter Sins, 
by which I have rendred myself worthy, that it, and / too, 
should be a Cast-away, but applying to the Blood of the 
Lord Jesus Christ for the Pardon of all my Sins, (which 
Blood being sprinkled on my poor Work, the Destroyer shall 

' "Stephen Johnson, having his First-borne child, bom si.\ or seven weeks be- 
fore nine Months from his marriage were expired, and having pcenitently and 
ingenuously acknowledged hereupon that he had sinfully conversed with her who 
is now his wife, as his wife, before she were so, his Repentance was this Day offered 
to the Church, and accepted." Cotton Mather's MS. Records of tlie Second 
Church, n. 

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4IO DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

not come at it,) I received a wonderful Assurance from 
Heaven, that the Lord will accept this Work, and that His 
Providence will wonderfully appear in and for the Pubhca- 
tion of it. My Assurance cast me into Floods of Tears, and 
I resolved that I would be wholly for the Lord, who has thus 
heard the Voice of my Supplications. 

But there was another Matter, about which also I made 
this Day, my Addresses unto the Lord. 

lo d. 12 m. [FebruM.ry.] Tuesday. I sett apart this Day 
for THANKSGIVING in my Study. The Matter of my 
Thanksgiving, was much the same with my last. And the 
Method of it had not much that was new. So I enter no 
more of it, in these Records. 

But I considered with myself, that while I am on every 
side surrounded with mercies and Comforts, the Church of 
my Lord Jesus Christ abroad, is harassed vdih horrible 
Troubles. And it would be some Expression of my Thank- 
fulness to the Lord, for my Comforts, if I did obtain in my- 
self and promote in others, a greater sense of the Troubles 
on His Church. Wherefore I digested into a single Sheet 
of Paper, as exact and perfect and curious an Account 
as I could of the deplorable Condition in which the Church 
at this Time is Languishing, and with as many Charms 
as I could, I directed and entreated the Prayers of Good 
Men for distressed Zion. I entituled it, .Ad\ice to the 
Chitrches of the Faithfitl,' Briefly Reporting the Present 
State of the Church throughout tlie World, and bespeaking 
the Fervent prayer for the Church, which this Time alone caUeth 
for. And I purposed, that when tis published, it shall be 
scattered throughout the Countrey. 

M>- NtT)- dear Friend, Mr. Bromficld, was at the Charge 
of publishing it; and, his charitable Hand, gave two apeece 
to each of the Representati\-es in the General Assembly, 
desiring them to give one unto the Minister of the Place, 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen in 170a. 

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FEBRUARY, 1701-02 4II 

where such Person lived. It proved liighly acceptable and 
serviceable, and many Ministers even had it read in their 
Several Congregacons. 

(He did the Like afterwards, to the General Assembly in 
Connecticut.) 

One thing that hath cost me more than a little Time 
and Care, in the latter Part of this Year, has been, to sett 
up a Nimiber of reHgious private Meetings, among the 
Christians in my Neighbourhood, besides those that are 
already maintained. I considered with myself, that the 
Spirit of ReUgion was mightily preserved and promoted, 
by private Meetings well managed among the People of God. 
The Lord has now so marvellously prospered my Labours 
for and with such private Meetings, that I shall have at 
least thirteen or fourteen of these (besides my Vast Con- 
gregation) under my Charge. They unavoidably demand of 
me, a deal of Time, and Care, and expensive Industry: 
nor do I know any Minister upon Earth at this Day, that 
has the like Number to look after. Lord, assist me to value, 
and improve my precious Opportunities ! 

All that I have here to add, is, that when I am com- 
mitting my Church-History (which great Work runs great 
Hazards of Miscarrying) into the Hands of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, I receive wonderful Assurances, (I think, I know) 
from Heaven, that the Lord will accept it, and preserve it, 
and pubUsh it, and that it shall not be lost. An heavenly 
Afflatus causes me sometimes to fall into Tears of Joy, 
assured, that the Lord has heard my Supplications about 
this Matter. And now, its having been thus long delayed, 
and obstructed and clogg'd, proves but an Opportunity for 
that Prayer and Faith, and for those Experiences, which 
if I had gone without, the Publication of that Book, would 
not have proved near so sweet a Mercy to me. 

But, if it, should miscarry after all, O my God, My God, 
what Confusion would ensue upon me! 

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412 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

An Observation. 

Tis a Passage, which Mr. Baxter has in his Christian 
Directory; 

If you be famous for any Grace or Good Work, expect to he 
defamed for the quite Contrary. I have ktiown some that have 
given away almost all that they had to the poor, and hardly kept 
Necessaries for themselves; yett these persons have been accused 
of Coveteousness, Unkindness, Hard-dealing. 

I have myself often felt the Experience of this Obser- 
vation. I will here mention the Experience, in the words 
of a printed Letter; wherein I myseK am the very Person 
intended. 

" It has, in some former Years commonly happened unto 
me, that when I visited, in the Way of my pastoral Duty, 
persons possessed with evil Spirits, the Persons, tho' they 
knew every one else in the Room, yett thro' the unaccount- 
able Operation of the evil Spirits upon their Eyes, I must 
appear so dirty, so ugly, so disguised unto them, that they 
could have no Knowledge of me. I ha\"e a thousand times 
thought, that the Lord ordered this for some Intimation 
unto me, that when Times of Temptation come, wherein evil 
Spirits have as much Operation on the Minds of many 
People as they have on the Eyes of Encrgiimais, a ^Minister 
of the Lord Jesus Christ that will be faithful unto His 
Interests, must look to be all over disguised by Misrepre- 
sentations, unto the Minds of them that are under the Powej; 
of Temptation. A Minister shall stricth- impose that Law 
of Kindness upon his Lips, to speak not one intemperate or 
injurious Word on the greatest Provocation; and yett be 
represented, as a man full of Bitterness. He shall be alwayes 
dcvisini^ liberal Things to relcc\-e the miserable, and spend 
more than many others do imagine possible to be spent in 
pious Uses, and scorn to take many little Gains that might 
lawfully so be taken, and yett they shall cry out of him 
for Uncharitableness and Incivility. He shall never once 

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FEBRUARY, I7OI-O2 4I3 

in his Life, ask a Salary, from his Flock, nor agree with 
them about a Salary, nor have his Dependence on the 
Lord's-Day Collections for a Salary, nor be in any Likelihood 
of seeing the Lord's-Day Collections to fail, and yett they 
shall flout at him, as one afraid of losing his Contribution. 
A Minister shall be of such a Temper, that perceiving a 
considerable and valuable Part of his Flock, to putt them- 
selves unto a deal of Trouble, to attend upon his Ministry 
(by passing a large Ferry every Lords-Day,) he shall one 
Year after another call upon those beloved Christians, to 
leave his Ministry, and sett up a new church by themselves, 
and sett up a Worthy Pastor over them, to support whom, 
he shall offer to contribute not a little, and part with some 
of his own Salary.' And yett this Minister shall be repre- 
sented as afraid of nothing more than losing his Hearers. 
He shall — but I don't love to mention these Things. The 
Lord of Heaven teach us by these things to long for Heaven, 
and even while we are on Earth, to live in Heaven!" 
The Course of my Public Ministry. 

ltd. 12m. [February.] i-jcx). I preached (in course) on Heb. 
12. 2. Our Lord's exemplary Patience, when He endured the Cross, 
despising the Shame. (And I administred the Eucharist.) 

23 d. 12 m. I preached on Heb. 12. 2. The Lord Jesus Christ, 
silting on the right Hand of the Throne of God. 

1701. 2d. im. [March.] I preached on Heb. 12. 3. The con- 
sideration of our Lord enduring the Contradiction of Sinners; as a 
Remedy against our Fainting under Temptations. 

bd.im. Thursday. I preached (the Lecture) with a great 
Assistence, to a great Assembly, on, Math. 8. 10. A great Faith. 
And I hope, the Lord was greatly glorified. 

gd.\m. I preached, on Heb. 12. 3. and concluded, with an 
Application, all my ten former Discourses, on this Paragraph of 
Scriptures. 

16 d. im. I preached on Lev. 10. 3. The Sanctifying of God, 
by them that come nigh unto Him. 

23 d.im. I preached on Eph. i. 3. The Duty of all Men, and 

' He is evidently speaking of himself. See p. 180, supra. 

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414 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

the Character of good Men, to bless God, for His Blessings. (Begin- 
ning a Course of Sermons, on the two first Chapters to the Ephe- 
sians.) 

30 d. I m. I preached on Deut. 32. 5. The Spoils of them that 
are not the Children of God. 

2,d. 2 m. [April.] Thursday. I preached the Lecture, to a great 
Assembly again and with a very great Assistence, on Psal. 89. 5. 
The Lord JESUS CHRIST, as the Wonder of Angels. 

6d. 2 m. I preached on Eph. i. 3. The God and Father, of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. 

13 d. 2 m. I preached on Joh. ig. 30. The sixth Word of our 
Lord on the Cross. (And I administred the Eucharist.) This day 
I also baptised sixteen Persons. 

20 d. 2tn. I preached on Eph. i. 3. Spiritual Blessings. 

24 d. 2 m. Thursday. A general Fast. I preached on Hos. 8. 
12. The woful Contrition of a People, from whom God is departed. 

2-jd. 2vi. I discoursed from the same Text, on Methods to 
obtain the Presence of God, with us in our Undertakings; and con- 
cerning Desertions, etc. 

I d. 3 m. [May.] Thursday. I preached the Lecture; but it being 
a great Storm on this day, I preached, on Mat. 7. 25. The House 
of the wise Builder, out-standing the Storm; and I concluded with 
Observacons relating to the present Storm among the Nations. 

4 rf. 3 m. I preached on, Eph. i. 3. The Word {ALL) spiritual 
Blessings. 

lid. 3 m. I preached on Psal. 119. 30. Choosing the way of 
Truth. 

25 (i. 3 w. Thursday. I preached, (the Lecture of Boston being 
turned into a Fast) on E.xod. 17. 11. Lifting up the Hands of Prayer 
and Faith, for the distressed Church. 

18 i. 3 m. I preached on Eph. i. 3. The heavenly Places. 

25 d. T,m. I preached, on Prov. 9. 6. Forsaking foolish Com- 
pany. (Because I saw great Mischiefs befalling some of our young 
People especially, from that Occasion.) 

I rf. 4 m. [June.] I preached on Eph. i. 3. Its being in Christ, 
that we have all spiritual Blessings. 

8 rf. 4 m. I preached on Luk. 23. 46. The last of the seven 
Words uttered by our Sa\'iour on the Cross. (And I administred the 
Eucharist.) 

iSd. 4 m. I preached on Eph. i. 4. Election. 

22 d. 4 m. I preached on Prov. 12. 5. Right Thought. 

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FEBRUARY, I70I-O2 41$ 

26 d. 4 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, to a great Assembly 
and with a great Assistence, concluding my Discourse on Psal. 89. 5. 
The Wonders of Christianitie. 

6 d. 5 m. [July.] I preached on Eph. i. 4. Being chosen In 
Christ. 

13 d. sm. I preached on Eph. i. 4. being chosen to be Holy. 

20 d.sm. I preached on Prov. 11. 23. The good Desires of 
good Men. 

24 d. 5 »w. Thursday. I preached the Lecture on Prov. 23. 17. 
Being in the Fear of God, all the Day long. 

27 i. 5 m. I preached on Eph. i. 4. Being without Blame. 

3 <f. 6 m. [August.] I preached, on Eph. 5. 25. The Love of 
Christ, giving Himself. (And I administred the Eucharist.) 

5 (i. 6 m. Tuesday. I preached the Lecture at Roxbury, on Eph. 
I. 3. In Christ. 

10 d.6m. I preached on Eph. i. 4. Love. 

17 d.6m. I preached on Psal. 63. 3. God's Favour belter than 
Life. 

21 d. 6 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture on, Gen. 47. 3. 
A Christian giving a good Account of his Behaviour, in this particular 
Occupation. (To a great Assembly, and with a great Assistence.) 

24 d. 6 m. I preached, on Eph. i. 5. Adoption. 

28 d. 6 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, at Ipswich, on 
Luk. 23. 43. 

31 i. 6 w. I preached at Salem, A. M. on Ps. 63. 3. The Favour 
of God. P. M. on Prov. 23. 17. The Fear of God. 

2, d. "] m. [September.] Wednesday. I preached the Lecture at 
Salem, on Heb. 2. 18. Temptations. 

T d. ■] m. I preached on Eph. i. 5. Adoption, being by Christ, 
and for the Glory of God, and from the Pleasure of God. 

14 d.-jm. I preached on Prov. 13. 15. The Way of Trangressors 
hard. 

18 d. 7 m. Thursday. A general Fast. I preached on Ezek. 14. 
23. A Cause for all the Judgments of God. 

21 d. J m. I preached on Eph. i. 6. The Glory of Grace. 

24 d. 7 m. Wednesday. I preached the Lecture at Reading; on 
Prov. 12. 5. 

28 d. "J m. I preached on i. Joh. i. 3. Communion with God 
and with Christ; (And I administred the Eucharist.) 

$d.&m. I preached, on Eph. i. 6. Acceptance with God, by 
Grace, and thro' Christ. 

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4l6 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

i2d.8m. I preached on Pro v. ii. i8. The deceilftd Work of 
the Wicked. 

ij d. 8 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture on Job. 15. 17. 
Declaring what I, and my Hearers, had seen, in our daily Experiences, 
to confirm and commend, Lessons of Religion. 

20 d. 8 m. I preached, on Eph. i. 7. Redemption by Christ. 

26d.8m. I [ireached on Eph. i. 7. The Blood of Christ, the 
Price of Redemption. 

id.gm. [November.] I preached on Eph. i. 7. The Forgiveness 
of Sins. 

gd.gm. I preached on Prov. 15. 24. The Way of Life being 
above. 

13 d. 9 m. Thursday, I preached on, Col. i. 3. Thanksgiving of 
God ; and particularly, the Way of celebrating a Day of Thanksgiving. 
(Praeparatory unto such a Day to be celebrated this Day se'nnight".) 

16 d.gm. I preached on Eph. i. 7. Riches of Grace. 

20 d. 9 m. Thursday. It being a Day of pubhck Thanksgiving, 
I preached again on Eph. i. 7. An Exhortation, to make the Riches 
of Grace, the Subject of our Wonders and our Praises. 

23 d. 9 nt. I preached on Gal. 5. 24. The Crucifying of sinful 
Dispositions, by them that belong to a crucified Saxiour. (And I 
administred the Eucharist.) 

30 d.gm. I preached, on Eph. 2. 8. Grace abounding, particu- 
lar! >■ in the Applications of the Benefits of Election and Redemption. 

■J d. 10 m. [December.] I preached, on Prov. 13. 21. Evil pur- 
suing Sinners. 

II d. 10 m. Thursday. It being the shortest Day of the Year, I 
preached the Lecture, on i. Cor. 7. 29. The Time short. 

14 d. 10 m. I preached on Eph. i. 8. That word. Us, that they 
who have received the Forgiveness of Sins, have peculiar Cause to 
celebrate the abundant Grace of God. 

21 d. torn. I preached again on the same Subject. 

25 d. 10 m. Thursday. I preached (the Lecture) on Psal. 37. 25. 
God's providing Bread for the Rig/tteous, and their Of spring. (Be- 
cause, tis a Time of many Temptations in the Town, upon that 
point, how wc shall be provided for.) 

28 d. low. I preached, on Eph. i. 8. Wisdome, or Knowledge, 
in Faith. 

4 d. 1 1 m. [January.] I preached on Prov. 19. 2. The Evil of 
being without Knowledge. 

11 d. II m. I preached on Eph. i. 8. Prudence. 

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FEBRUARY, 1701-02 417 

iSd. 11 m. I preached, on Eph. i. 8. [.\LL] Wisdome and 
Prudence in the Gifts of Grace to the People of God. (And I admin- 
istred the Eucharist.) 

25 d. II m. I preached, on Eph. i. 9. The Mystery of the Will 
of God meled in the Gospel. 

I d. 12 m. [February.] I preached, on Prov. 3. 17. The Wayes 
of Piety, Wayes of Pleasancy. 

5 d. 12 w. Thursday. I preached, on Prov. 4. 3, 4. The Duty 
of parental Catechising. (A Subject highly seasonable and the Lord 
made it highly acceptable.) 

8d. 12 m. I preached, on Eph. i. 9. The Dispensation of the 
Gospel, the great Instrument for the Conveyance of saving Grace. 

A good Note on a Little Book entituled: A Spiritual 
Legacy. 

Pray for those you love; and assure yourselves, you 
shall never have Comfort of his Friendship, for whom you 
pray not. 



1-87 

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1702 

Annus Luctuosus. 

Prophetia quae dicit aliquid tale futurum, impletur per 
aliquid tale. Cocceius, in Mat. 2. 23. 

THE XLth year OF MY LIFE. 

12 d. 12 m. [Febrtiary.] 1701. Thursday. On a Thursday 
just thirty nine Years ago, I first appeared in the World. 

I cannot express, wither my Amazements at the Good- 
ness and Mercy of God, in sparing me thus far beyond my 
Expectation, to enter upon the fortieth Year of my Age: 
(Methinks,/or/>' sounds old and big!) Or, my Distresses, in 
reflecting upon my sinful and foolish Mispence of my irrev- 
ocable Time; (Alas, how little, how nothing have I done 
in all this Time!) 

I considered these things a little this Day, in my Suppli- 
cations before the Lord. But more, on the Day following 
which was with me a Day of Prayer, (albeit I did three Dayes 
ago keep a Day of Thanksgiving in my Study.) 

In this Month, I happily accomplished the Establish- 
ment of two Societies in this Town; which two Societies 
having much Dependence on me for Directions in their 
Designs, and being very ready to be directed by mine, I 
may, if the Lord continue me, enjoy many special and signal 
Opportunities to glorify Him. 

One is, a Society for the Suppression of Disorders. About 
a dozen or fourteen good Men, whereof some are Justices, 
agree to meet, for Consultation upon that point, what and 
where Disorders do arise, in the Town, and how may such 

(418I 
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MARCH, 1701-02 419 

Disorders be prevented! I drew up Orders for them, wherein 
they have united; and I hope, I may see considerable 
Things done by them, towards the Reformation of the Place. 
Another is, a Society for the Propagation of the Christian 
Religion. A Nimiber of our more significant Gentlemen, 
have combined with me, to sett up a Conversation at each 
others Houses, upon that Point, what is the Present State of 
the Christian Religion, at home, and abroad; and what we may 
do for the Service of it? God knows whether here may not 
be laid a Foimdation for some Actions of a great and good 
Influence, upon the evangelical Interests. 

1702. 

4 d. I w. [March] Wednesday. I thought it proper to 
sett apart this Day, for Prayer with Fasting in my Study 
before the Lord. 

I had many Occasions to do so. One Occasion was this : 
The Lord hitherto keeps me Ignorant, what becomes of my 
Church-History, a Point of extraordinary Concernment unto 
me. We are now expecting Ships from London, and I 
desire in a way of the most solemn Humiliation to be prae- 
paring for what Advice may be coming unto me. I keep 
submitting and resigning this weighty Matter unto the 
Lord, and consenting unto so humbling a Trial, as the Loss 
of my Church-History, if the Lord shall order me to be tried 
with so severe an Exercise. But, behold, the Lord from 
Heaven assures me, that my Church-History shall not be 
lost. 

Another Occasion was this. Having at my Lecture 
about a Month ago, preached on the Duty of parental Cate- 
chising, I design to morrow, to preach on the Duty of young 
Persons, when they come to those Years wherein they are no 
longer catechised. Wherefore I now abased myself before 
the Lord, in the Sense of my own exceeding Unworthiness, 
that He should make use of me, thus from Time to Time, 

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420 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

in addressing the young People of N. E. with the Admoni- 
tions of Piety; especially since my own Youth had in some 
Respects been so very impious. And I implored a mighty 
Assistence and Possession of the Holy Spirit, that so I may 
to morrow glorify the Lord exceedingly : 

Moreover, the critical Condicon of the Church at this 
Day, obhges me to be more than ever in Supplications unto 
the Lord. 

Memorandum. I have been much engaged both in 
public and in private Supplications, that the Lord would 
open a way, for the Access of His glorious Gospel into the 
vast Regions of the Spanish America: and I know no Min- 
ister but myself who hath been so.' Now, while I was this 
Day employing my Thoughts, upon this great Subject 
there was brought unto my Hands, a most wonderful 
Thing, which was brought hither the last Night from 
England; namely, a Copy of the Articles concluded be- 
tween the Emperour King of England and States of 
Holland: whereof the sixth is, that the English and Dutch 
shall have Liberty to make themselves Masters, if they can, 
of the Counlreys and Cities, under the Dominion of Spain 
in the Indies, and that tliey shall keep all that they shall 
conquer.'^ Who can tell, what may be the Consequence of 
this astonishing Thing? 

The Day following, I enjo}ed a wondrous Presence of 
the Lord with me, in my public Ministrations ; and this unto 
so vast an Auditory, especially of young Persons, as has 
rarely been preach'd unto. I did, by a sweet Experience, 
find what it is, to preach after solemn Addresses to Heaven 
by Prayer, for heavenly Influences. I must bear a Testi- 

• Sewall offered to subscribe five pounds towards printing the Bible in 
Spanish in a fair octavo. "Then you might attempt the Bombing of Santa 
Domingo, the Havana, Porto Rico, and Mexico itself." Leller Book, I. 297. 

• The grand Alliance was formed September 7, 1701, having for its object the 
breaking up of the FrancoSpanish monarchy, by giving Italy to the Emperor, 
Joseph I, and the Indies to the maritime powers. 

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MARCH, 1701-02 421 

mony for the Lord, that He is good unto the Soul that seeks 
Him ; and that Ministers, who pve up themselves unto the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit, shall be made His 
Mouth unto His People, after they have been emptied of 
themselves and buffeted with Temptations, and cast into 
the Dust before the Lord. 

After this, I took my two last Lectures, and giving the 
httle Book this Title, Cares about the Nurseries, I gave 
it unto the Bookseller; ' with Resolutions, that when it is 
published, I will take off two or three every Week, and 
scatter them in the Families where I make my \lsits in the 
Neighbourhood. 

14 d. I m. Saturcday. It was my Purpose to have sett 
apart this Day, as I did one the last Week, for Prayer, prae- 
paratory to the Celebration of the Eucharist, which is to 
morrow, by my vile Hand to be administred. 

But because I preached Yesterday, and was afraid of 
over-doing, unto a Trespass against the sixth Command- 
ment, I omitted it. 

However, in the Evening, I perceived I was able to have 
done more than I thought I was. 

Wherefore I called now to Mind, that the primitive 
Christians, in Obedience to that Commandment of Watch- 
ing unto Prayer, sometimes had their Vigils, which were of 
great use luito them in their Christianity. To spend a 
good Part of a Night sometimes in Prayer, and so take the 
Advantage of a nocturnal Solitude, and abridge themselves 
of their usual Rest, for the sake of a devout Conversation 
with Heaven; they found God often rewarding the Devo- 
tions of such Vigils, with a more than ordinary Degree 
of heavenly Consolation. Accordingly I resolved, that I 
would this Night, make some Essay towards a Vigil. 1 
dismissed my dear Consort unto her own Repose; and in 
the Dead of the Night, I retired into my Study; and there 

' Printed by T. Green and B. Allen, 1702. 

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422 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

casting myself into the Dust, prostrate on my Study-floor 
before the Lord, I was rewarded with Communications 
from Heaven, that cannot be uttered. There I lay, a long 
while wrestling with the Lord; and I received some strange 
Intimations from Heaven, about the Time and Way of 
my Death, and about Mercies intended for my Family, 
and about several other Points about which my Mind may 
be too sollicitous. Lord! what is Man, that thou shotddest 
thus visit Him! 

If these be Vigils, I must (as far as the sixth Command- 
ment wiU allow,) have some more of them! 

Now, as I have often observed it, so it still continues a 
matter of Observation unto me, that when I have been 
admitted unto some near, and sweet and intimate Com- 
munion with Heaven, I must immediately upon it encounter 
some Vexation on Earth; either bodily Illness or popular 
Clamour or satanic Buffet immediately followes. I expected 
something on this Occasion. Accordingly, while I was 
preaching on the Day following, one of my Chimney's took 
Fire, and my own House, with my Neighbours, was much 
endangered, and our great Congregation ran out of the 
]\Iee ting-house, unto the Releef of my House, and I was 
thus mark'd out for Talk all over. 

In this Month, and near this Time, the Lord inclined 
me, assisted me, accepted me, to do several small Services 
for His Name. 

I did my part in procuring the Justices and Select ISIen 
to putt the Bridewel into a good Condition, for the Cure 
of much Idleness and Wickedness. 

I moved, that the Town would \-ote a Committee, to 
consider on Methods, for setting the Poor to work.' 

' Elisha Hutchinson, Pcnn Townscnd, John Foster and the overseers of the 
poor formed this committee, which was appointed March 9, 1701-02. In May, 
the sum of £to «as appropriated towards procuring materials for setting the poor 
at work as the overseers of the poor should direct. Boston Record Commissioners, 
viii. 23, 2.|. 

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MARCH, 1701-02 423 

I sett forward a Town- Vote for the rectifying of gross 
Abuse in the Choice of Jury-men, which was obtained.' 

I wrote many Letters, to forward the Designs of Prayer 
for the distressed Church of God. 

I procured a Clause to be putt into the Order for the 
general Fast, exciting the Churches throughout the Province 
unto successive Dayes of Prayer to be kept in particular 
Congregations. 

I prosecuted a Design of obtaining able and faithful 
Indians, to undertake the Work of EvangeUzing the Sal- 
vages in the eastern Parts of the Countrey. 

And several other Things, worth as much Mention as 
these; that is to say, worth none at all. But it may be, 
the Lord has them in the Book of His Remembrance. 

About this Time, I foresaw several great Advantages 
likely to arise from it, (and particularly in my pastoral 
Visits,) if I would compose and comprise diverse brief Sys- 
tems of the Christian Religion, with an acceptable \'ariety 
of Artifice, whereof one, a compleat Abridgement of the 
Assemblies Catechism, all in one Single Sheet of Paper. 
Accordingly I did so, and gave it unto the Printer, en- 
tituled Sound Words, to be held fast in Faith and 
Love.' 

It having been my Custome, to praeface my Evening- 
Prayer in My Family, with a Meditation, on some Text of 
Scripture, and having in this way gone thro' not only whole 
Psalms, and Chapters, but also, whole Books of the Scrip- 
tures, I thought I would now take the Scotch Commentators, 
who have gone over many parts of the Bible with Doctrines 

' "For the more orderly choyce of persons to serve on Juryes it is ordered, that 
the Select men do once a year present unto the Town a list of all persons whom they 
shall judge proper to serve on Juryes. And at the Time of such choyce the nomi- 
nation shall be made out of the said List and proposed to the vote of the Town in 
order to their chuszeing or refuseing the persons so nominated, and this methode 
to continue and be observed for the year ensueing." Boston Record Commis- 
sioners, vm. 24. 

' Printed with Cares about the Nurseries. 

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424 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

raised out of every Verse and read a Portion from them in 
my Family, before our Evening Prayer, till I have (if I 
should live so Long) dispatch'd them all. 

I begun with Ilutcheson upon Job.^ And many times 
after I had begun, I had this darted into my Mind; that I 
might expect some Trials (perhaps of long Sickness,) to come 
shortly upon my Family; and that the Lessons fetch'd from 
the Story of Job, were to prepare me for those Trials. 

I d. 2 m. [April\ Wednesday. To morrow, is to be kept 
as a general Day of Prayer with Fasting, throughout the 
Province. It is a Time of extraordinary Calls to it. I 
thought, I would prepare for the Day, by a Vigil the Night 
before. Accordingly I spent good Part of the Night, namely 
till towards one a clock in the Morning, first in singing of 
Psalms, and then in making of Prayers, prostrate in the Dust 
on my Study-floor before the Lord. The Lord most favor- 
abl}' and familiarly drew nigh to His poor Servant, and 
acquainted me, with some of His gracious Purposes concern- 
ing me. 

On the Day following, I enjoyed a mighty Presence of 
the Lord with me, in the Exercises of the Day, with a vast 
Congregation of His People. 

4 d . 2 m. Satureday. I was in much Distress upon my 
Spirit, concerning my Church History, and some other elab- 
orate Composures, that I have sent unto London; about 
the Progress towards the Publication whereof, the Lord 
still keeps me in the Dark. To ha\'e those Composures 
with all my Labours and Prayers about them, lost, would 
be a terrible Trial to me: but I thought it my Duty to pre- 
pare for such a Trial. WTierefore I sett apart a Vigil this 
Night, peculiarly for that Serxice. 

Accordingly, in the Dead of the Night, I first sang some 
agreeable Psalms; and then casting myself prostrate in the 

' GcorRc Iluchcson, whose Exposition upon Job, the sum of three hundred and 
sixteen Iccliirrs, was published in 1669. 

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APRIL, 1702 425 

Dust, on my Study-floor before the Lord, I confessed unto 
Him, the Sins for which He might justly reject me, and all 
my Services; and I promised unto Him, that if He would 
reject those particular Services, which I had been labouring 
to do for His Name, in my Church-History, and some other 
Composures now in England, tho' my Calamity therein 
would be very sensible, yett I would, with His Help, submitt 
patiently imto His Holy Will therein; and I would not 
be discouraged thereby at all from further Endeavours to 
serve my Lord Jesus Christ, but I would love Him still, and 
seek Him still, and serve Him still, and never be weary of 
doing so; but essay to serve Him in other wayes, if He 
would not accept of these. Thus did I resign unto the Lord; 
who thereupon, answered me, that He was my Father and 
that He took Delight in me, and that He would smile upon 
my Endeavours to serve Him, and that my Church-History 
should be accepted and prospered. 

12 d. 2 w. Satureday. I sett apart the Day, for Prayer 
with Fasting, in my Stud)', on such occasions, as have lately 
putt me on the same, or the Uke Exercises. 

I also renewed my Vigils, with some Frequency. 

In some of these, my Mind is irradiated with caelestial 
and angeUcal Influences, assuring of me, that my Church- 
History shall not be lost, but shall come abroad, and be made 
serviceable unto the evangelical Interests, and be of great 
Use in that great Work of cleansing the Temple, for which 
the Lord wfll speedily pour out a Spirit upon His People 
from on High. 

In one of my Vigils, when I sang the 131st Psalm, that 
Passage exceedingly affected me; My Soul is even as a 
weaned Child, lett Israel hope in the Lord, from henceforth. 
I had been wrestling with the Lord, for the good Success of 
my Church-History ; in the midst of this my wrestling, I was 
become as a weaned Child, even resigning the whole matter 
unto the Ordering of the Lord, and resolving to be satisfied 

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426 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

with whatever He shall order! But it was now powerfully 
sett Home upon my Mind, that I might now Hope in the 
Lord from henceforth, to see a good Issue of the Matter. 

ibd. 2 w. Thursday. This Day, I received a short 
Letter from an holy Servant of Christ, which had this (and 
little more than This) Passage in it. 

"You'l pardon my troubling you, with a Line, to thank 
you for your Maschil, which I think, may be called Mictam 
as well as Maschil.^ You help me to this Thought; How 
full of Excellency is the glorified Man, the Lord JESUS 
CHRIST, if by His Holy Spirit, He so fiUs one of His Ad- 
mirers, that he is Enabled to fill a Book with such excellent 
Things!" 

Tis impossible for me to express the Satisfaction of Soul, 
which the Sight of this Passage raised in me. That holy 
ones, whose Hearts are sett upon glorifying of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, should by any Thing of Him in me, be led unto 
the Contemplation of His Glories! This, this is the highest 
Pitch of my FeUcity; I aspire to nothing higher than this, 
throughout eternal Ages. Now my good God has begun 
to grant me this Felicity. I despise the Diadems of Em- 
perours, in Comparison of it. I am happy, I am happy. 
Lord, I am swallowed up wath the Extasies of thy Love! 

About this Time, I considered, that there are in the 
Skirts of our Colonies, diverse Plantations, that hve desti- 
tute of any evangelical Ministry. Wherefore I drew up as 
Pungent an Address as I could, unto those ungospeUized, 
and paganizing Plantations, to sett before them, the Ex- 
cellency and Necessil}', of being well-accommodated with 
the means of Grace; hoping to animate the Zeal of some at 
least, of the Inhabitants in those wretched Places, to look 
out for an evangelical Ministry, to come among them. The 

' The exact meaning of the two words, which occur in the headings of some 
of the I's^ilms, has never been determined. They are due to transposition and 
corruption of letters. 

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MAY, 1702 427 

Gentlemen of my Society, were at the Charge of print- 
ing it. It is entituled, A Letter to Ungospellized 
Plantations.' 

I d. 3 w. [Ma}).] Friday. And now, I see once again, 
that Faith is no Fancy. Bless the Lord, O my Soul, and 
rejoice in His wonderful Goodness and Mercy towards the 
most loathsome Sinner in the World! 

My Church-History has been in extreme Hazard of Mis- 
carrying. The Delay, given by the nice Hummours of my 
Friend in whose Hands it was left, unto the kind Offers and 
Motions of the Gentleman, that would have published it a 
Year ago, exposed it unto the Hazard of never being pub- 
lished at all. God continued the Opportunities and In- 
clinations of that Gentleman to go on with the Undertaking. 
When they began to fail, God stirr'd up a very eminent 
Bookseller,' to come in, with obliging Tenders of his Assist- 
ance. Letters to Advise me of this, were dated as long ago 
as the twentieth of last November. One Ship arrives from 
London after another, and still I am strangely kept in the 
Dark; I have no Satisfaction in any of them. God •mil 
have my Prayer and Faith employed unto the uttermost I At 
last, on this Day, after so long a Delay, comes in the Ship 
that had these Letters ; which also tell me, that they hoped 
the Work would be finished, by the Month of March, which 
is now past. But still. Prayer and Faith, must be kept at 
work, for the good Circumstances of it. 

gd. ^m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, for the 
Duties of a Fast, in my Study. The Duties were very 
poorly attended. Yett not without some Irradiations from 
Heaven. Especially, in this point, that happy Tidings 
were coming to me from England. 

A very religious young Minister, (and one doubtless 
of much more Grace than myself) visited me, desiring my 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1702. 

' Thomas Parkhurst, whose name appears on the title-page of the Magnalia. 

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428 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Advice, about his distress'd Case; for, he told me, he was 
fully convinced of his being to this Day, an unconverted and 
unregenerate Creature. 

Lord, {thought I) what cause have I to examine seriously 
and thoroughly my own State, if one so much better than I 
hath such Thoughts of his ? 

Butt setting myself to comfort him, I found a wonder- 
ful Comfort convey'd unto my own Soul, with a Dialogue 
of this Importance. 

I pray, Syr, what is it that stands upon the Shelf before 
you? A Repeating Clock, and a very curious One. What 
use do you think, I will putt it to? Syr, You'l assign it a 
convenient and honourable Place in your House and putt it 
to the noble Use of measuring your Time. How do you know, 
that I shall not make it a Stool to sitt upon, a Block to 
tread upon, a Backlog to be thrown into my Fire? Syr, The 
Workmansliip of it, makes it appear to be intended for no such 
miserable Use. Well then: Have not you upon your Soul, 
a divine Workmanship, far more excellent, than the most 
curious Clock-Work in the World? A Work of Grace, is a 
Work of God; even of Him, who does nothing in Vain. 
You find in yourself, a Disposition, a strong Disposition 
and Inclination to glorify God, and ser\'e the Interests of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and slay all Sin as being most con- 
trary unto Him. This is a Work of Grace. You know no 
delight comparable to that of Scr\-ing the Lord Jesus Christ. 
God has wrouglit this in you; and herein He has wrought 
you, for that self-same Thing, of being to the Praise of His 
Glory forever. What use can you think, He will now putt 
you to, but that [of] serving the Lord Jesus Christ, in His 
heavenly World? Such a Peece of Workmanship, {created 
unto good Works) as what is wrought in you, was never 
intended for to be thrown into the Fire of Hell. No, there 
is no use of it there. God intends you for an heavenly 
Use, undoubtedly. 

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MAY , 1702 429 

This Thought gave to me, an inexpressible Consolation, 
whatever it gave to him, to whom I directed it. 

23 d. 3 m. Satureday. In a Vigil, I exceedingly bewayled 
before the Lord, my want of Love to Souls; and entreated 
Him with my whole Heart, that the Vertue of Love to Souls, 
might by His Holy Spirit, be mightily working in me. 

About this Time, I considered, that there was a very 
destructive Impiety, wherein too many of this Town and 
Land indulged themselves; namely that of needless and fre- 
quent Absence from the religious Assemblies. Now, because 
a Sermon preached, is not so likely to come at them, I 
thought, the Writing and Printing of a Letter, to the negli- 
gent Neighbours, on that Subject, might be of use, to be 
conveyed imto them; I did praepare a Sheet accordingly; 
and procure the Assistence of my Society for the Suppression 
of Disorders, to publish and scatter, the Letter, about the 
Countrey. It is entituled — A monitory Letter to them 

WHO NEEDLESSLY AND FREQUENTLY ABSENT THEMSELVES 
FROM THE PXJBLICK WORSHIP OF GOD. 

And at the General Convention of our Ministers, in 
Boston (at the Election^ the Lord accepted me to do several 
Services for Him. Especially this: I considered, how much 
the glorious Doctrines of Grace are depraved, and deserted, 
even in the Churches of the Reformation, and especially in 
the English Nation: and, how much Danger there is, lest 
the Chvirches of New England and our younger Clergy in 
them, should lose those glorious Doctrines of Grace and be 
poisoned by vile Pelagian Books, that from beyond-sea, are 
vended among us. Wherefore, I composed a System of 
those illustrious Doctrines; and I composed it in express 
Terms fetch'd from the Articles and Homilies of the Church 
of England; foreseeing a manifold Advantage in my doing so. 

This my brief System, I accompanied with lively Warn- 
ings unto the Churches, telling them, how much the 
Vitals of Christianity, were concerned, in the Preservation 

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43° DIARV OF COTTON MATHER 

of those Doctrines, adding also, proper Cautions against 
Antinomian Abuses of them. God so assisted and pros- 
pered my Speeches among the Ministers, that they voted 
for the publishing of this Instrument unto the Churches, 
as their Testimony to the Interests of the Gospel. 

It is entituled, A Seasonable Testimony to the 
Glorious Doctrines of Grace, now many Wayes 
undermined in the world. 

My dear Consort, this Week, (25 d. 3 m.) after previous 
Illness, unhappily miscarried of a Son, after being four or 
five Months with Child; and yett, it is possible, that not 
unhappily; for she had also a^ false Conception, whereof she 
was now dehvered. She was brought into Languishments 
of extreme and threatening Sickness. 

I thought it my Duty to humble myself before the Lord, 
under His Rebukes upon my Family. And I could find 
sufficient Occasions for Himiiliation. But when I more 
particularly examined, WTiether I had ever troubled the 
Churches of the Lord, with any false Co'nception, 1 could 
not find myself Conscious to any such Matter. 

My Consort having passed this Week, very ill, the next 
made her State, very dangerous and dubious. The dread- 
ful Cloud hanging over my poor Family, caused me to ly in 
the Dust before the Lord. More particularly on 

Wednesday, ^d. ^m. [June] I sett myself, to attend the 
Duties of a Fast, in my Study, on this occasion. But I had 
a sad Experience, that I can't beleeve what I will, or when 
I will. An uncomfortable Dullness accompanied the Devo- 
tions of the Day. I could not but fear, lest the Death of 
my Consort, and all the unhappy Effects of it upon a broken 
Family, must overtake me. 

Instead of having my Mind replenished and irradiated 
with the holy Spirit, I found the evil Spirit buffetting of my 
mind, with impure Thoughts, which exceedingly abased me 
before the Lord. 

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JUNE, 1702 431 

The Distress proceeded. God awakened me to sett 
apart another Day, namely, 

Saturday, 6 d. 4 w. before the Week was out, for 
Prayer with Fasting, in my Study, that I might obtain the 
Life of my Consort, at His gracious Hands. 

And on this Day, I mett with wonderful Things. In the 
Forenoon, while I was at Prayer, with my dying Wife, in 
her Chamber, pleading the Sacrifice of my Lord Jesus 
Christ, for my Family, I began to feel the blessed Breezes 
of a Particular Faith, blowing from Heaven upon my mind; 
I began to see that my dear Consort should be restor'd unto 
me, by the same good Hand that bestow'd her at first upon 
me. And I resolv'd, that in a Way of Gratitude, I would 
study certain particular Methods, to recommend the use of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, as a Family-Sacrifice, in the Faith 
of His People. 

But in the Afternoon, when I was alone in my Study 
crying unto the Lord, for sparing and healing Mercy to my 
Consort, my Particular Faith was again renewed, and with 
a Flood of Tears, I thought I recei\ed an Assurance from 
Heaven, that she should Recover this time. Whereupon I 
begg'd of the Lord, that He would by His good Spirit incUne 
me to be exemplarily wise, and chast and holy in my whole 
Conversation, when I should again obtain such favour of 
the Lord, as to have my good Thing with me, in former 
Circumstances.* 

Rising off my Knees, I took my Psalm-book, with an 
Intention, to find and sing some Psalm, agreeable to what I 
was now upon. 

Unto my Surprize (and I am often served so,) the first 
Psalm, at which my Psalm-book opened, was the Hundred 
and Eighteenth; where I foimd and sang these Passages, 

I did lift up my Voice to Jah, 
From out of Slreighlness great; 

' A marginal entry has been struck out. 

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43 2 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

The Lord an Answer gave to me, 
With an enlarged Seat. 

The Tabernacles of the Just 

the Voice of Joy afford, 
And of Salvation; strongly works 

the right Uand of the Lord, 

I shall not dy, but live, and shall 

the Works of J ah declare; 
The Lord did sorely chasten me, 
but me from Death did spare. 

I then went unto my Consort, and assured her, that she 
should live yett awhile. 

i\Iy Wife still grew worse, and on the Day following, 
which was the Lord's-Day, She was apprehended by those 
about her, to be actually struck with Death, and the Physi- 
cian was called out of the pubUc Assembly. 

My Faith was now tried, but it held out; and the Fitt 
upon my Wife went over. 

She lay yett so very weak, that I was called up, in the 
middle of the following Night, because they thought her 
dying. I retired into my Study, about one or two a clock 
in the Night, and there had a Vigil, wherein the Lord 
renewed unto me my Assurances of His purpose to recover 
her, and make her to live, nor as yett snatch her wholly 
from me. 

The next Morning the Assurance was yett again renewed 
unto me, with a Flood of Tears, and Hopes and Joyes and 
Wonders, when I was prajing with her, after I had read by 
her the latter End of the eighth Chapter of Luke: (her 
Father, as her Jairus being also present.) 

On this very Day, a critical SaUvation began to sieze 
her, and her Feavour began to go off. 

But it must not so go off, as to leave my Faith without 
further Trial. 

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JUNE, 1702 433 

After a whole Weeks great Weakness, partly by her 
extream Salivation, and partly by the Feavours degenerating 
into a Character that had much of a certain Ague in it, she 
was brought and kept so low, that her Life still was in 
extreme Hazard. Wherefore I saw, I mxist beseech the Lord 
thrice. On 

16 d. 4 m. Tuesday. I kept another Day of Prayer in 
my study on her behalf; and made it an Opportunity for 
further Supplications, relating to Affayrs in England. It 
proved a Day of no great Enjoyments. 

After this Day, she grew rather worse. On Friday, I 
even suspected her of dying. 

Wonderful the Trial of my Faith. But it held out com- 
fortably under the Trial. And by so much the greater 
Blessing shall I receive after it; and the greater Glory will 
come unto the Lord. 

Several Addresses of some Consequence, especially one 
to the Queen, did I draw up, about this Time. 

God continuing my Consort's extreme Illness, I did 
again on 

24 d. 4 m. Wednesday. Sett apart this Day, for prayer 
with Fasting, to cry imto the Lord for her; as also, to obtain 
His Presence with me, to morrow. 

On this Day, the Lord was pleased in a most astonish- 
ing Manner to renew my Particular Faith, for the Recovery 
of my dear Consort. God, and His good Angel, has assured 
me from Heaven, that tho' my Consort be in such dying 
Ciramistances, yett she shall not yett dy, but live: And 
the Lord Jesus Christ, shall have Glory among His People, 
(particularly, the Glory of His being our Family-Sacrifice,) 
on the Occasion of the Experiences, which the present Con- 
dition of my Family does aflford me. 

Several Times again this Day, when I took my Psalm- 
book, to sing some Psalms agreeable to my present Circum- 
stances, to my Surprize I found, that my Psalmrbook still so 
1-28 

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434 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

opened, that the very first Psalms occurring to me, afforded 
me the most agreeable Passages in the World, e.g. Psal. 66. 
8, 9, ID, II, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. And Isa. 12. etc. 

On the Day following I enjoy'd an extraordinary Presence 
of the Lord with me; in preaching to the Govemour, (newly 
arrived,) and the General Assembly and a very great Audi- 
tory; describing, A Good Man, with characters which the 
Lord made observable and acceptable. 

On the Friday, my Consort's Illness grew still (if it could 
be,) full of more uneasy Symptomes. I saw no Likelihood 
of any other than Death after all. But Lord! how aggra- 
vated a Calamity must be her Death, if such a Sting, as the 
Disappointment of my Particular Faith, must be added unto 
it! Wherefore, on 

27 d. 4 m. Satureday. I sett apart another Day for 
Prayer with Fasting on so Distressing an Occasion. 

And on this Day, unto my Astonishment again, the 
Lord, and His Angel, has renewed my Assurance, that my 
Consort shdl recover, and that with a more wise and chast 
Conversation than ever, I shall yett glorify the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and have a Family exemplary for the Service of the 
Lord. Several Passages, in 2. Cor. i. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 
II. were of singular Use to me, in the Contemplations with 
which my Particular Faith in one Effort of it this Day, was 
accompanied. 

In the ensuing Week, besides other Services, I accom- 
plish'd one of more than ordinary Consequence. 

Having drawn up certain. Proposals for the Preserva- 
tion OF Religion in the Churches, by a due Trial of 

THEM TILAT STAND CANDIDATES OF THE MINISTRY; they Were 

laid before a Convention of near thirty of our Ministers, who 
all concurred unto them; and I proceeded then to publish 
a convenient Number of Copies, that so the Instrument may 
be dispersed into all parts of the Countrey, for the Concur- 
rence and the Direction of all concerned. 

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JULY, 17 02 435 

But I must not lett this Week pass me, without another 
Day of Prayer, on the behalf of my Consort, who still 
continues languishing, without any Hope in herself to be 
restored. Accordingly, 

4^. 5 m. [July.] Satureday. I kept this Day, as I kept 
two the last Week, in my Study. Both with respect unto 
the Condition of my Consort; and with respect unto the 
Condition of the Town, where the Small-pox begins to 
spread; and the Land, where a War is now proclaimed; and 
other sad Circumstances we have in our Government. But 
especially my own poor Family I carried unto the Lord, by 
Faith getting it sprinkled with the Blood of Jesus Christ, 
that so the Destroyer may not, at this evil Time have any 
Commission to touch it. 

But the Illness of my Consort continued upon her, until 
it came to a great Extremity; and some great Symptomes 
and Actions of one in the Agony of Death were observed in 
her on the next Friday Morning, and the Night preceding. 
However, the Lord still stept in to succour her, upon our 
Cries imto Him. And I was desirous on 

12 d. $m. Satureday, to keep a seventh Fast in my Study 
for the Life of my dear Consort; on which Day I also made 
seven several Addresses for her; wherein I resigned her unto 
the Lord and submitted unto all the sorrowful Consequences, 
of a rejected Prayer, and a defeated Faith, and a desolate 
broken Family, if He should order them for me. But while 
I thus gave up my dear Consort, still I could not give her 
over. I thought, I received fresh Assurances from Heaven, 
that she should be restored unto me, and that the Lord 
should be exceedingly glorified on that Occasion. 

About this Time, I considered, that it might be service- 
able more Wayes than one, unto the evangelical Interest 
for me to publish the Sermon I preached lately, unto the 
Govemour, and the General Assembly, upon the Character 
of a good Man. Wherefore I gave it imto the Booksellers, 

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436 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

entituled, The Pourtraiture of a Good Man; Drawn 
with the Pencils of the Sanctuary.^ 

Moreover, a Discourse which I delivered at our Lecture, 
when I suddenly diverted from the Subject I intended, and 
but a few Minutes beforehand resolved upon delivering 
this Discourse, proving so acceptable to some of the Hearers, 
that they were desirous to publish it, I gave it imto the 
Booksellers. It is entituled Necessary Admonitions, con- 
taining Just Thoughts upon some Sins too little thought of; 
or, a brief Discourse concerning Sins of omission.^ 

In the Preface, I have this Observation; that the Things 
and Wayes from which any Service to the Church of God, is 
least of all expected, are they that sometimes prove the most 
serviceable. 

I have often found it so; and here again I find it so. 
Little did I imagine, that this poor Discourse, would ever 
have this Improvement made of it. 

21 d. 5 m. Tuesday. My Faith and my poor Consort's 
Patience, is mightily tried, by her continuing in a dubious, 
dangerous, deplorable Condition of Illness. 

The Physicians, this Evening, seem to have laid aside 
all Expectation of her ever being restored, from the wasting 
scorbutic Feaver, and still continuing SaUvation, that fol- 
lowes her. 

We are to have a Day of Prayer in our Congregation, 
on the Thursday, (two Dayes hence;) wherefore I chose 
now to spread my Distress before the Lord, in the way of 
a Vigil. 

I retired into my Bed-Chamber, and spent good Part of 
the Night, prostrate on the Floor, (with so little of Garment 
on as to render my lying there painful to my tender Bones), 
crying to God for the Life of my poor Consort, but himibly 
committing her Case, and submitting my Will, to His 

' Printed for Benjamin Eliot, 1703. 

' I'rinted by B. Green and J. Allen, for Samuel Phillips, 1702. 

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AUGUST, 1702 437 

glorious Providence. I think, before I went unto my Rest, 
I obtained some further Satisfaction, that my God has heard 
me! I shall have a blessed Answer, tho' I do not as yett 
foresee all the Circumstances. 

Afterwards in this Week, I kept another VigU, on the 
behalf of my Reverend Friend, Mr. Noyes at Salem; to 
obtain of the Lord, the praeservation of his Life and Health, 
from Danger by the contagious Diseases broken into that 
place.' 

I d. 6tn. [August.] Satureday. The Lord is now begin- 
ning a little to restore my Consort; the Answer of Prayer 
and Faith has begun to approach towards us. However, it 
concerns me still to keep at it. I sett apart this Day also 
for the Duties of a Fast, before the Lord. 

And yett, after this, my poor Consort falls into new 
Returns of Languishment; yea, her Feebleness growes again 
to that Extremity, as to render her Condition, as dubious 
perhaps as ever. I am kept up all Night, that I may see 
her dy, and therewith see the terrible Death of my Prayer 
and Faith. But in this Extremity, when I renew my Visits 
unto Heaven, and go to resign my dear Consort unto the 
Lord, and consent that she shall be taken from me, a strange 
Irradiation comes from Heaven upon my Spirit, that her 
Life shall not as yett come unto an End. 

My Heavenly Father, will still have me attended with 
some special Exercise, that shall keep my Prayer and Faith 
employ'd. And that which His fatherly Wisdome has 
ordered for me, in these later weeks, has been the singular 
Calamity of my poor Consort; and an Illness which none of 
our ablest Physicians know, what to judge of or what to 
do for. 

23 d. 6 m. Lord's-Day. In the Evening, after the public 
and private Services of the Day, sitting in my Study, I 
found a strange Impression on my Mind, intimating to me, 

> Nicholas Noyes. 

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438 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

that Heaven was willing to converse with me, after a very 
familiar Manner, if I would now look and wait in a suitable 
Posture for it, It was q. said unto me, Go into your great 
Chamber and I mil speak with you I 

So I retired into a great Chamber of my House, most 
remote from all Disturbance, and cast myself prostrate on 
the Floor before the Lord. 

There I cried unto the Lord, with himible and bitter 
Confessions of my own Loathsomeness before Him, and 
abhorred myself as worthy to be thunderstruck into Dust 
and Ashes. For a while, I had no other Expansions of Soul, 
than in all Devotions. But at length, I felt an inexpressible 
Afflatus come from Heaven upon my Mind, which dissolved 
me into a Flood of Tears, that ran down upon the Floor, 
and caused me to speak such Things as these. 

"And now my Father is going to tell me, what He will do 
for me. My Father loves me, and will fill me with His Love, 
and will bring me to everlasting Life. My Father will never 
permitt anything to befall me, but what shall be for His 
Interest. My Father, will make me a chosen Vessel, to do 
good in the World. My Father will yett use me to glorify 
His Christ, and my Opportunities, my precious Oppor- 
tunities to do so, shall be after a most astonishing Manner 
continued and multipUed. Particularly, my Treatise of, 
Teie Triumphs of Christianity, my Father will send His 
Holy Angels to look after it, and it shall not be lost. The 
Condition of my dear Coitsort, my Father will give me to 
see His wonderful Favour in it. My Father will be a Father 
to my Children too; He ^^'ill provide for them, and they shall 
every one [of] them serve Him throughout eternal Ages." 

I omitt some other Things. But this Conversation with 
Heaven, left a sweet a calm, a considerate, a sanctifying, 
an Heavenly Impression upon my Soul. 

2j d.6m. Thursday. A Day of Prayer was publickly 
kept in this Town; and I was not only present, but also 

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AUGUST, 1702 439 

employ'd in the public Supplications on it; enjoying thereon, 
a sensible Presence of the Lord with me. 

Having therefore kept a public Day of Prayer, this 
Week, I would lay aside my Purpose to keep a private one. 
Instead thereof, 

29 d. 6 m. Satureday. I kept a Day of THANKS- 
GIVING in my Study. And I enjoy'd some intimate 
Communion with Heaven; when acknowledging and glorify- 
ing of God the Father, and Son, and Spirit, in His infinite 
Perfections; and when mentioning His particular Favours 
to myself, on each Article whereof, I mentioned a particular 
Aggravation of my own Sinfulness, to render me more 
imworthy of it. 

I also kept myself in Tune, for the more settled and 
solemn Services of the Day, by Multitudes of Ejaculations 
in a way of Thanksgivings formed on the Occasion of the 
many and various Objects that on every Side occurr'd imto 
me, all the Day long. 

But one special Intention of this Thanksgiving was, the 
Condition of my dear Consort. She has been strangely 
upheld, and tho^ chast'ned stfre, yett not given over to Death, 
for twice seven Weeks together. I thought, that I had kept 
many Dayes of Prayer for her in this Time of our Calamity; 
but it ought to be a Matter of Praise, that we are not con- 
sumed, that we have been favoured with so much Support, 
and Patience, and Experience, under the Calamity; and 
it may be, a Day of Praise, would be followed with Salva- 
tions, beyond what any Dayes of Prayer had yett obtained. 
I resolved on keeping this Day accordingly. The Day and 
Night before it, there came so ill a Turn upon my poor 
Consort, that she terrified us, with extreme Apprehensions 
of her Dissolution. This was a further Trial upon me, but 
still I kept my Resolution. And on this Day my Faith 
relating to my Consort, revives at the strangest rate imagi- 
nable; yea, she also begins to have some strange Revivals. 

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440 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

30 d. 6 m. Lord's-Day. Tho' thro' a Slothfulness truly 
criminal, I do not record many Interviews with Heaven, 
with which the Chief of Sinners is favoured; yett I will not 
leave unrecorded, one to which I was this Day admitted. 

Having preached on that glorious Priviledge of being 
sealed with the Holy Spirit of God, and being arrived imto 
my last Prayer; at the following Administration of that 
sealing Ordinance, the Eucharist; I felt an inexpressible 
Irradiation from Heaven, upon my Mind, which dissolving 
me into Tears, caused me to begin the Prayer, with Expres- 
sions to this Purpose. 

And now surely Thou art our Father; else thou wouldest never 
have inclined us, to repair unto thee as our Father, with Prayer, and 
with Pleasure, on all Occasions; and to desire nothing in this World 
so much as to glorify our Heavenly Father. Surely thy Christ, is 
ours; or else, thou wouldest never have caused us to accept of Him 
in all His OflBces, and value and admire all His Benefits. Surely thy 
Christ has loved us, and wash'd away our Sins in His own Blood; or 
else thou wouldest never have made our Sins to become so bitter, 
and loathsome unto us, and made us wish for nothing so much as 
DeUverance from our Sins. Surely, we stand before thee in the 
Righteousness of thy Christ; or else thou wouldst never have made 
us to renounce and abhor all our own Righteousness, and made us 
fly to Righleousttess as our only Refuge, and make mention of that, 
even of that only. Surely Thy Christ has our Names written on His 
Breast and appears as our Advocate in the Heavens; or else thou 
wouldest not have made us carry His Name so much on our Hearts, 
and be so concern 'd above all Things to advance His Name, and be 
so willing to appear on Earth as Advocates for His labouring Interests. 
Surely Thy Holy Spirit has taken a saving Possession of us, or else 
we should never have undergone such a Change upon us; we should 
never have been so reconciled unto the most mortifying and self- 
denying Points of Christianity; we should never have chosen rather 
to be afflicted than to be abandoned unto Sin against thee; we should 
never have relished it, as the cheef Delight under Heaven, yea a 
very Heaven itself, to be alwayes doing of Good. Surely, these are 
the Seals of God upon us; and they Seal us for the heavenly Inheritance. 
God uses not such Seals as these upon Reprobates. God would not 
seal us for Damnation with such Things as these upon us; these are 

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AUGUST, 1702 441 

not the Marks of those that must go down unto the Damned. No, 
our God has now sealed us for Glory, and sett us apart for eternal 
Blessedness, and Happiness. Oh, our God, our God; we find, with 
a mighty Light, broke in upon our Minds, a joyful Perswasion and 
Assurance, that thou hast loved us with an everlasting Love, and that 
our Sins are all pardoned in the Son of thy Love, and that we shall be 
kept by thy mighty Power, thro' Faith unto Salvation. We are sure 
this Perswasion must either be from Satan, and from a deceived and 
a deluded Heart; or else it must be from the Holy Spirit of God. 
But we are sure, the Perswasion is not from Satan, and from our own 
sinful Heart, because we no sooner entertain it, but it fills us with 
Love to God, and care to please Him and serve Him; it makes all 
Sin most hateful unto us; it leaves an heavenly Impression upon us; 
it causes us to abound in the work of the Lord; it inspires us with a 
Zeal for thee; it constrains us to a watchful, useful, fruitful and 
humble wEilk before thee. We are sure then, that the Perswasion 
is from the Holy Spirit of God. And now, behold, what manner of 
Love is this I 

Little recordeable occurr'd unto me, in the next Month; 
only in several Vigils from Time to Time, I enjoy'd some 
intimate Communions vnth Heaven. 

But such Thoughts as these now begin to roll in my dis- 
tressed Mind. 

I suspect, I have been too imattentive unto the meaning 
of the Holy Spirit, and His Angel, in the Particular Faith, 
which I have had about my Consort's being restored unto 
me. 

First, when she has been several Times in or near the 
last Agonies of Death, unto the Apprehension of all about 
her, I cry to the Lord, that He will yett spare her. He tells 
me, that He will do it. Accordingly, to our Astonishment 
she getts over that ill Turn. She stayes yett longer with 
us, to employ our Prayer and Faith, and Patience and 
Resignation. But it may be, after the Lord has given me 
admirable Demonstrations, of His being lothe to deny me 
any thing that I importunately ask of Him, and therefore 
does one Month after another delay the Thing which I fear; 

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442 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

yett I must at last encounter the Death which I have so 
deprecated, when both my Wife and myself shall be better 
praepared for it. 

Secondly, when I am crying unto the Lord, that He will 
Pitty me, and my poor Family, and give me in the Condition 
of my dearest Creature an Instance of His Compassion to 
me. He tells me, that He has heard me. I interpret it, that 
my wife shall certainly recover. But this may be too hasty 
and sudden, and shortsighted, an Interpretation. The Lord 
may have marvellous Blessings in store for me, and my poor 
Family, beyond anything that I can at present imagine, or 
would indeed be willing to imagine. In those Things may 
my Prayer and Hope have a glorious Accomplishment, and 
the Holy One must not be limited unto the Sense which my 
Folly and Fondness, would putt upon the Expectations 
which He has given me. 

26 d. 7 m. [September.] Satureday. That I might yeeld 
myseK unto the Lord, with a profoimd Submission, and that 
I might not faint in the Day of Adversity, I was again 
secretly now engaged in the Devotions of Prayer with Fast- 
ing before the Lord. 

When I was in deep Distress, about the Meaning and 
Issue of the divine Dispensations towards me, I took my 
Bible in my Hand, with a Design to seek some divine Con- 
solations there. And the very first Place, that was brought 
unto me, at the Opening of the Bible, was that, Psal. 71. 20. 
Thou which hast shewed tne great and sore Troubles, slialt 
quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the 
Depths of the Earth. 

The Lord laid me aside from serving Him at Redding, 
where a vast Assembly came together from the Towns 
round about, in Expectation of my being at the Lecture 
there. The sad and sick State of my Consort, who appeared 
even in the Jawes of Death, permitted not my going from 
her. I entertained this Rebuke of Heaven; in Conjunction 

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OUIUBEK, I7OZ 443 

with several more, I hope, not without proper, and humble, 
and useful Reflections. But after this, the Lord Accepted 
me, to serve Him abroad, in some other Towns; particularly 
at the Lecture in Roxbury; but most especially at the Lec- 
ture in Dedhatn; where the Spirit of the Lord (on which I 
preached,) so accompanied my poor Labours in my preach- 
ing as to administer imto me, great Consolation, and Satis- 
faction, that He had not forsaken me. 

And on the Day after my Labours at Dedham, namely on 
8 (f. 8 »t. Y^ctoher\ Thursday, 

There was a pubUck Fast kept at the South Church, in 
Boston, where the Lord helped me to bear my part; partic- 
ularly, it fell unto me, to begin the Services of the Day, 
with a Prayer, wherein I wrestled with the Lord, for near 
two Hours together, that His Mercies might be vouchsafed. 
It becomes me to take some hmnble and thankful Notice 
of it, that altho' I have had no Reason to expect, that 
there should be any use made of me, in the Dayes of 
Prayer successively kept by our neighbouring Churches, 
yett by particular Dispositions of the Divine Providence, 
it comes to pass, that I must be very much used on those 
Occasions, 

22 d. 8 m. Thursday. This Day the Lord graciously 
carried me, thro' the Duties of a Fast, which was kept 
throughout the Province. 

God helps me, not only on this Day, but at other Times 
with great Frequency, and Fervency to committ my Chil- 
dren into His merciful Hands, now the Small Pox, is on 
every Side of us.' 

And being in extreme Distress, about my poor, feeble, 
wasted Consort, who after more than twenty Week's Lan- 
guidmient, is, for my further Trial, fallen into the Symptoms 
of an hopeless Consumption. I did the Night before the 
Fast, keep, as far as my Strength would permitt, a Vigil. 

' The disease raged in the town until the following March. 

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444 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

In this Vigil, after I had, prostrate in the Dust, left the 
Case of ray Consort with the Lord, I repaired unto my Bed- 
chamber, to take some Rest, the latter Part of the Night. 
But befpre my going to Rest, I took my Psalm-book into my 
hand, that I might sing Something for the quieting of my 
uneasy mind. And unto my Surprise, the very first Verse 
that at the opening of the Book, my Eye was carried unto, 
was that: Psal. 105. 37. 

And there was not among their Tribes, 
A Feeble Person told. 
Lord, thought I! This won't be fulfill 'd until the Resur- 
rection of the Dead. The Tribes of the Raised will not have 
one feeble Person among them. And must I resign the Con- 
dition of my Consort, at last, unto what shall be done in 
the future State? Lord, Thy Will be done! 

Behold a strange Thing! On the Night after the Fast, 
my Consort had appearing to her, (she supposes, in her 
sleep) a grave Person, who brought with him, a Woman in 
the most meagre and wretched Circumstances imaginable. 
My Consort fell into the Praises of God, in that her Condi- 
tion was not yett so miserably Circumstanced as that 
woman's now before her. The grave Person then told her, 
that inasmuch as there were at this Time, a Couple of 
Symptomes become insupportable to her, he would propose 
a Way, wherein she should obtain some Help for them. 
First, for her intolerable Pain in her Breast, said he, Ictt 
them cutt the warm Wool from a living Sheep, and apply 
it warm unto the grieved Pain. Next, for her Salivation, 
which hitherto nothing had releeved, said he, take a Tankard 
of Spring-Water, and therein over the Fire dissolve an agree- 
able Quantity of Mastic's, and of Gum Idnglass: Drink of 
this Liquor now and then, to strengthen the Glands, which 
ought to have been done a great while ago. 

She told this on Friday, to her principal Physician; who 
mightily encouraged our trying the Exp)eriments. We did 

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OCTOBER, 1702 445 

it; and unto our Astonishment, my Consort revived at a 
most unexpected Rate; insomuch, that she came twice on 
Satureday out of her sick Chamber, unto me in my Study; 
and there she asked me to give Thanks unto God with her, 
and for her, on the Accoxmt of the Recovery in so surprising 
a Degree begun unto her. 

After this, my dear Consort continued much refresh'd 
and yett feeble. We had great Hopes of her becoming a 
strong Person again, and yett great Fears, lest some further 
latent Mischief within her, prove after all too hard for her. 

30 d. 8 m. Friday. Yesterday, I first saw my Church- 
History, since the Publication of it. A Gentleman arrived 
here, from New Castle in England, that had bought it there. 
Wherefore, I sett apart this Day, for solemn THANKS- 
GIVING unto God, for His watchful and gracious Provi- 
dence over that Work, and for the Harvest of so many 
Prayers, and Cares, and Tears, and Resignations, as I had 
employ'd upon it. 

My reUgious Friend, Mr. Bromfield, who had been sin- 
gularly helpful to the Publication of that great Book, (of 
twenty shilUngs price, at London,) came to me at the Close 
of the Day, to join with me, in some of my Praises to God. 

On this Day, my little Daughter Nibby, began to fall 
sick of the Small-pox. The dreadful Disease, which is 
raging in the Neighbourhood, is now gott into my poor 
Family. God prepare me, God prepare me, for what is 
coming upon me! 

The Child, was favourably visited, in comparison of 
what many are. 

It becomes impossible for me to record much in these 
Memorials; the vast Numbers of the Sick among my Neigh- 
bours and the Duties which I owe to the sick in my own 
Family, engrossing my Time exceedingly. 

It being impossible for me, to visit the many Scores of 
sick Families in my Neighbourhood, and yett it being my 

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446 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

desire to visit them as far as tis possible, I composed a Sheet 
which I entituled, Wholesome Words, or, A Visit of Advice 
to Families visited with Sickness. ' I putt myself to the small 
Expence of printing it; and then dividing my Flock into 
three Parts, I singled out three honest Men, unto whom I 
committed the care of lodging a Sheet in every Family, as 
fast as they should hear of any faUing sick in it. The Lord 
makes this my poor Essay, exceeding acceptable and ser- 
viceable. 

The Month of November coming on, I had on my Mind, a 
strong Impression, to look out some agreeable Paragraph 
of Scripture, to be handled in my pubUc Ministry, while the 
two dreadful and mortal Sicknesses, of the Small Pox, and 
the Scarlet Feavour, should be raging among us. After 
earnest Supplications to the Lord, for His Direction, I used 
an Action, which I would not encourage, ever to be used in 
any divinatory Way. I thought, I would observe, whether 
the first Place that occurr'd at my opening of my Bible, 
would prove suitable or no; or such as might carry any In- 
timation of angelical Direction in it. Unto my Amazement, 
it proved, the History of our Lords curing the sick Son of the 
Nobleman, in the fourth Chapter of John. I saw, that the 
whole Bible afforded not a more agreeable or profitable 
Paragraph. So, I began a course of Sermons upon it. 

14 d. 9 m. [November] Satureday. The awful Circum- 
stances upon me, (and upon the Town,) caused me to ly in 
the Dust this Day with secret Prayer and Fasting before 
the Lord. 

In this Month, my lovely Consort again declines; and 
some latent Mischief within her, brings on a Feebleness, that 
gives us great Apprehensions of a mortal Issue. 

21 d. g m. Satureday. I obtained, I compelled, the Lie- 
sure, for another Day of Prayer with Fasting in my Study; 
to carry my distressed Family unto the Lord. 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1703. 

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NOVEMBER, 1702 447 

Humiliacons are coining thick upon me! 
Ikly Study, is tho' a large, yett a warm chamber, (the 
hangings whereof, are Boxes with between two and three 
thousand Books in them;) and we are so circumstanced, 
that my House, tho' none of the smallest, caimot afford a 
safe Huspital now for my sick Folks, any where so well as 
there. So I resigned my Study, for an Hospital to my little 
Folks, that are falling sick of a loathsome Disease. God 
sanctified this, to humble me, for my not serving Him as I 
should have done in my Study; which provokes Him to 
chase me out of it. 

First, my godly Maid, was carried into it; where she 
lay horribly fidl of the Small-pox, distracted, and hardly 
escaping with her Life. 

24 d. 9 m. My Daughter Nanny was taken Sick. She 
proved full and blind, and very sore of the Distemper. 

21 d.gm. My Son Increase, was taken sick. 

He also proved pretty full and blind, and sore; tho' not 
so bad as his Sister. 

The Uttle Creatures keep calling for me so often to 
pray with them, that I can scarce do it less than ten 
or a dozen times in a day; besides what I do with my 
Neighbours. 

But the most exquisite of my Trials, was the Condition 
of my lovely Consort. It now began to be hopeless. 

Lord, If thy poor Servant have any Grace in him, it mil 
now be tried unto the uttermost! 

How shall I glorify the Lord, in the Midst of these Dis- 
tresses, and Confusions? Truly, after my sorry Manner, 
I did sett myself to do it. 

I spent much Time, with my lovely Consort. I pray'd 
with her as agreeably as I could. I endeavoured her most 
consimimate Praeparation for the heavenly World, by suit- 
able Questions and Proposals. I comforted her, with as 
lively Discourses upon the Glory of Heaven, whereto she 

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448 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

was going as I could make unto her. I disposed her, and 
myself, all that I could, unto a glorious Resignation. 

At last, the black Day arrives: Tuesday, the first of 
December. I had never yett seen such a black Day, in all 
the Time of my Pilgrimage. The Desire of my Eyes is this 
Day to be taken from me. Her Death is lingring, and 
painful. All the Forenoon of this Day, she lies in the 
Pangs of Death; sensible, until the last Minute or two 
before her final Expiration. 

I cannot Remember the Discourses that passed between 
us. Only, her devout Soul was full of Satisfaction, about 
her going to a State of Blessedness with the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and as far as my Distress would permitt me, I 
studied how to confirm her Satisfaction and Consolation. 

This I remember, that a little before she died, I asked her 
to tell me faithfully, what Fault she had seen in my Con- 
versation, that she would advise me to rectify. She replied 
(which I wondred at,) that she knew of none, but that God 
had made what she had observed in my Conversation 
exceeding serviceable unto her, to bring her much nearer 
unto Himself.' 

When I saw to what a Point of Resignation, I was now 
I called of the Lord, I resolved, with His Help therein to 
I glorify Him. So, two Hours before my lovely Consort 
expired, I kneeled by her Bed-Side, and I took into my two 
Hands, a dear Hand, the dearest in the World. With her 
then in my Hands, I solemnly and sincerely gave her up 
unto the Lord; and in token of my real RESIGNATION, 
I gently putt her out of my Hands, and laid away a most 
lovely Hand, resolving that I would never touch it any 
more! 

This was the hardest and perhaps the bravest Action, 
that ever I did. She afterwards told me, that she signed 
and seal'd my Act of Resignation. And tho' before that, she 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. 

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NOVEMBER, 1702 449 

call'd for me, continually; she after this never asked for me 
any more. 

She continued until near two a clock, in the Afternoon. 
And the last sensible Word, that she spoke, was to her 
weeping Father, Heaven, Heaven will make amends for all. 

When she was expired, I immediately prayed with her 
Father, and the other weeping People in the Chamber, for 
the Grace to carry it well under the present Calamity, and 
I did consummate my Resignation in Terms as full of Glory 
to the Wisdome and Goodness, and Alsufficiency of the Lord, 
as I could utter.' 

She lived with me, just as many Years as she had Uved 
in the World, before she came to me; with an Addition of 
the seven Months, wherein her dying Languishments were 
preparing me to part with her. When I had been married 
unto her just sixteen Years, (and as near as I can recollect, 
on that very Week, sixteen Years, that I was married unto 
her) God began to take her from me. I then said imto my 
Father, / seem to feel in my Mind, the Bodings of a dark 
Clotid hanging over my Family. The Cloud came on, and 
now, see what was in it! 

On the Friday following my lovely Consort, had a very 
honourable Funeral. 

Indeed, I do not know of a Gentlewoman, who has dyed 
in this Land, these many years, more generally esteemed 
and lamented. This was every one's Observation. 

I sett myself to contrive Wayes of glorifying my Lord 
Jesus Christ, under the Trials now upon me. But I have 
not the Time to insert and record all my Contrivances. 

The long Sickness of my Wife, and the late Sickness of 
my Family, caused us to employ, first and last, near one 
hundred Watchers. At the Fimeral of my Wife, I pre- 
sented each of these, with a Book, either that entituled. 
Ornaments for the Daughters of Zion, or that entituled, Death 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. 

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45° DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

mcde Happy and Easy: with a Paper pasted in at the 
Beginning, which intimated, at whose Funeral it was 
given: and had this Epigram added. 

Go then, my Dove, but now no longer mine; 

Lea\-e Earth, and now in heavenly Glory shine. 

Bright for thy Wisdome, Goodness, Beauty here; 

Now brighter in a more angelick Sphere. 

Jesus, with whom thy Soul did long to be. 

Into His Ark, and Arms, has taken thee. 

Dear Friends, with whom thou didst so dearly live. 

Feel thy one Death to them a thousand give. 

Thy Prayers are done; thy Alms are spent; thy Pains 

Are ended now, in endless Joyes and Gains. 

I famt, till thy last Words to Mind I call; 

Rich Words! Heav'n, Hzav'n will make amends for all. 

Satureday, the Day after my Wife's Funeral, I sett 
apart, for Prayer with Fasting before the Lord; that I may 
obtain the Pardon of all the Sins, for which the Lord is now 
chastising me ; and Grace and Help from Heaven, to glorify 
the Lord with a wise Behaviour under the Temptations of 
the Condition which is now come upon me ; and that healing 
Mercy may be perfected unto my sick Family. 

On the Lord's Day, I preached on the Death of the 
Prophet EzckicVs wife; and I studied that the Sorrow on 
my Family, might prove an Occasion of Goodness on others. 
I was greatly assisted of the Lord, in the composing of this 
Discourse, under such Desolations and Enciunbrances as 
were now upon me. 

The Lord gave me to see wondrous Demonstrations of 
the Love, which His, and my People had for me, on this 
Occasion. 

One was, their Building a costly Tomb, for the Ashes 
of my lovely Consort, and of my Children, whereof there 
were five buried, with no more than common grave Stones. 

E\'ery Satureday in December, was devoted by me, unto 

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DECEMBER, 1702 45I 

the Exercises of Prayer with Fasting in secret before the 
Lord. It is easy to see, that I had Occasions enough to 
do so. And it is as easy to see, that my extreme Employ- 
ments, would leave me little of Leisure, to write Multitudes 
of Passages, which I would gladly have recorded on these 
Occasions. 

jNIy three Children all came aUve out of the Fiery Furnace 
of the Small pox, which almost consumed them. And tho' 
the Scarlet-Feavour now raged in the Town, and particularly 
carried off some Numbers, who had newly recovered of the 
Small pox, my Family was in this Point favourably dealt 
withal. I also myself, who spent much of my Time in 
venemous, contagious loathsome Chambers, had Reason 
to be singularly Thankful for my own Preservation. 

More than fourscore people, were in this black Month 
of December, carried from this Town to their long Home. 

My poor Servant, who knew and lov'd my Family, and 
would have been a tender Nurse to my Children, continued 
so distracted after her getting up from the Small-pox, that 
I was under a Necessity of dismissing her out of my Family. 
This look'd like an Addition to my Calamity. But God 
most mercifully provided for us. 

It is now Time for me, to look back a little, on the Dis- 
pensations of Heaven, that have been roUing over me. Has 
not the Death of my Consort, that most astonishing Sting 
in it; a Miscarriage of a Particular Faith! Truly, nothing 
has ever yett befallen me, that has come so near it. But I 
will then insert some few Hints, from among the Multitude 
of my Thoughts within me. 

First, I cannot but acknowledge, much of the Divine 
Compassion and Faithfulness, (even unto me as well as 
unto her,) in the Removal of my lovely Consort unto a better 
World. Had she lived, it would probably have been, in 
continual Weakness, and Languor, and Sorrow, that would 
have been at last imeasy to us all. Tho' I cheerfully went 

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452 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

thro' all the Fatigues, which her long Illness obliged me to 
go through, and with all possible Tenderness to her; inso- 
much that a few Dayes before she died, upon her saying to 
them about her, / shall make you all weary! She presently 
turned unto me, / don't mean you, Mr. Mather! Never- 
theless, my Health would infallibly have been destroy'd, if 
she had recovered a little more, and so far that I should have 
run the venture of sleeping with her. My feeble Constitu- 
tion, would undoubtedly have run into a Consumption. 
And my Children would also have suffered miserably 
in their Education. But more than all this; she was a 
Gentlewoman of a melancholy Temper; and there were 
some dreadful Changes on her Father's Family. He had 
extremely broken her Spirit, by bringing home a Mother- 
in-law, tho' he did well in it. Her yoimgest Brother, and a 
considerable Interest of mine with him, (some hundreds of 
Pounds perhaps) was newly fallen into the Hands of the 
French Enemy. Her second Brother, who was her Darling, 
I had almost said, her Idol, was dead in London, whither 
he went the last Winter.' Her eldest Brother proves an 
idle, profane, drunken, and sottish Fellow, and a Disgrace 
to all his Relatives, and hastens apace to Ruine. She did 
not live to see the Condition of her Brothers; tho it were 
seen by all the Rest of us before she died. The Sight of 
these Things, would without a Miracle, have brought such 
a Disorder of Mind upon her, as would ha\-e rendred my 
Condition insupportable. 

And now, who can tell, what may be made for Blessings, 
(even in the very Kind,) unto me, and mine, by her Trans- 
lation to the Heavenly world; tho' my extravagant Fond- 
ness for her, would upon any Terms have detained her here. 

Secondly; tho' Heaven, in the Impressions made upon 

' Three sons arc mentioned in Wyman, Charlcslmtm Cenealogits and Eslaks, 
none of whom survivid the father: John, born 1663, Anderson, baptized 1680, and 
Harry, baptized 1681. 

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DECEMBER, 1702 453 

my Mind, and in the long Delay of the mortal Stroke, which 
was upon the very Point of dispatching the Life of my 
lovely Consort, seven Months before, manifested an In- 
clination to lett me have my Will, yett I doubt, that she 
herself had in the Court of Heaven putt in a Bar to it, which 
over-mled the Effect of aU my Prayer and Hope concern- 
ing her. 

She had a Brother, a fine yoimg Gentleman, a Merchant 
whom she even doted upon. He went for London, the last 
Winter; but had upon him some Illness, which it was hoped 
the Sea would help to cure. After his going, she said with a 
more than ordinary Passion and Agony, that she desired, God 
wovld never lett her live to hear of the Death of that young man I 
We had the Advice of his Death, as long ago as the last 
September, and my Family was in a mourning Habit for 
him. Nevertheless, by prudent Management, it was utterly 
kept from the Knowledge of his feeble Sister, for near three 
Months together. She never heard of his Death. And it 
was odd; that on the very Day she dyed, and about three 
Hours after her Death, one brought unto my House a Letter 
(which arrived a Fortnight before) directed unto her, from 
the Gentlewoman in whose House her Brother died; giving 
her an Account of him, and of the Maimer of his hopeful 
Death. 

Thirdly. Within a Fortnight after the Death of my 
Wife I preached on Joh. 4. 47. and handling several Doctrines 
from thence in my Sermon, one of them was : Tho' Faith be 
no Folly, yett Faith may he mixed with Folly; and partictdarly 
with the Folly of limiting the Wisdome of God, unto our own 
way of answering it. In the Prosecution of it, I lett fall 
these, among many other Passages. 

"I can mention to you a Mystery of practical Christianity, relat- 
ing to, a Particular Faith. Sometimes we ask for temporal Blessings, 
or, for such as are not particularly promised in the Covenant of Grace. 
The Holy Spirit of God favours us with so much of a Particular 

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454 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

Faith, as to say, the Lord hath heard the Voice of my Weeping; the 
Lord hath heard my Supplication; the Lord wUl receive my Prayer. 
U'c may be too ready to limit the Sense of the Holy Spirit, by our 
own strong Affections to the temporal Blessings, and conclude, the 
Thing must be done in just such or such a manner. No; the Sense of 
the Holy Spirit, is no more than this; I will do something towards that 
temporal Blessing, which may show thee, how able I how willing I am 
to gratify thee, but then I'l carry the matter, unto another Channel, 
wherein thou shall have all thy Desires more than answered. The bravest 
Effort of a True and a strong Faith, is, To leave all entirely unto 
the Lord, and be satisfied with the infinite Wisdome of His Conduct. 

A Gentleman, who heard the Sermon, and knew my 
Sorrow immediately sent me the following Lines. 

Dear Sir Heaven's Favourite, and from Heaven taught! 

In Righteousness yetl by dread A nswers brought 

To the Doctrine, which I ever truest thought! 

Your second Doctrine! That us wisely hath 

Fix'd on a sure, but subalternate Faith; 

That doth with Him the Individuals keep 

WTio's Faithful, but whose Counsels are a deep: 

With general Evidence who this Faith has crown'd, 

But to mans Humour will's its being bound: 

Loving that Faith, which kindled by HIS Spark, 

Yett glories Him to follow in the Dark: 

Th' great Artists' Art, this Art is to conceal, 

Till perfect Patience does the same Reveal; 

When once that Royal Point obtained is, Jam. i. 4. 

NOTHING at all is wanting; No, not this I 

Your whole Discourse is sworn with its own Praise, 

But this fair Article, does wear the Bates I 

It may be, the Lord will ere long enable me, to penetrate 
further into the Nature, Meaning, and Mystery of a Particu- 
lar FaiUi. Howe%cr, I have mett with enough, to awaken 
in me a more exquisite Caution, than ever I had in my 
Life, concerning it. 

When the next Month arrived, a new Trial came upon 
me. 

My pretty little Nanny fell into a \aolent and malignant 

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JANUARY, 1702-03 455 

Fever. It proceeded unto such a Degree, as to throw the 
Child into horrible Convulsions. Her Agonies were so very- 
great, that I could even have been glad, that she might have 
been by Death Released out of them. I sett apart, 

6 d. II w. {January\ Wednesday, for Prayer with Fast- 
ing before the Lord, on purpose to humble myself, and resign 
my Child, and obtain an easy and speedy Death, and ever- 
lasting Life, rather than a Continuance of Life in this world, 
for her; for she lay speechless, and I had no more Hope of 
her being restored unto me, than of the Five, that now ly 
in the Tomb with their lovely Mother. A most watchful 
Providence of Heaven saved the Child from taking a Paper 
of powdered Cantharides, which by a Mistake between the 
Doctor, and one of my Servants, had been given to the 
Child, instead of a paper of Ens Veneris, if I had been out 
of the way.' 

Tho' the Child lay speechless all Day, in the Evening she 
recovered so much Speech, as to surprise all about her, with 
saying; I heard my Father give me away to Day; but I sfiall 
not dy this Time, for all that! So she fell speechless again; 
and lay two Dayes more in the perfect Jawes of Death. 
But after all, imto the Astonishment of us all, the Child 
recovered. 

I must not forgett my fervent and zelous Desire, that 
whatever Calamity befals me in this present evil World, my 
Lord JESUS CHRIST may have Revenues of Glory and 
Service out of it. I have been most signally gratified in this 
Desire, and a Calamity in some sort ceases to be one, when I 
am so. 

I took my funeral Sermon for my Wife, (and that I 
might also do justice to the Memory of that amiable Crea- 
ture, I annexed an Elegy or two upon her;) I also took the 
Sermons, which I had preached upon the Deaths of my sev- 
eral Children, (being assisted by the Notes of some who wrote 

'Written in the margin. 

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4S6 DIARY -. 

Shorthand after me; for some of them had been preach'd 
in too great Sorrow, and with too small Warning for me to 
have any competent Notes of my own;) These Discourses, 
I saw much accommodated unto the Edification of the 
Readers; and, I thought likewise, that the Temper of my 
Spirit expressed in the Discourses delivered on these Occa- 
sions, would further glorify my Lord Jesus Christ. So I 
pubUshed them, and scattered them among the People of 
God. The general Title of them is. Meat out of the 
Eater; or Funeral-Discourses, occasioned by l/ie Death of 
several Relatives.^ 

I could not but thus conclude the Praeface to the Book. 
"0 Father of Mercies; WTiat shall I render to thee for thy 
wonderful Mercies to me, the Chief of Sinners! WUl the 
Lord indeed make use of sinful me, and not only of my 
Labours, but of my Sorrowes also, to do some little Good 
among His chosen People; and advance the Interests of 
His holy Religion among them ! If the Lord will break me, 
and my House to peeces, but make it an Occasion to build 
His House; if the Lord will chasten me v.i.th mournful Dis- 
pensations but make that Chastening an Occasion for others 
as well as myself to be the more Partakers of His Holiness; 
what an astonishing AUci'iatian does this give to all my 
Afflictions. Lord, in Faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me. 
Bless the Lord, O my Soul, for all His Benefits! 

In the month of January, I held on, as well as I was able, 
the Method of December. I did not lett one whole Week 
of the Month pass me, without setting apart a Day, for 
Prayer with Fasting before the Lord. M>- extraordinary 
Circumstances, I saw, upon many Accounts called me to ex- 
traordinary Humiliations, and extraordinary' Supplications. 

And I did also for the most part every Day, take Time 
extraordinary, to cast myself prostrate on my Study- 
floor, and cry to the Lord from the Dust, that His Pardon- 

' Printed for B. Eliot, 1703. 

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. . °3 457 

ing, Praeserving, directing Mercies, might not be witheld 
from me. 

Before the late weeks of my Life, I had rarely known any 
Tears, except those that were for the Joy of the Salvation 
of God. But now, scarce a Day passes me without a Flood 
of Tears, and my Eyes even decay with weeping. 

One Day, considering how frequently and foolishly Wid- 
owers miscarry, and by their Miscarriage dishonour God, 
I earnestly with Tears besought the Lord, that He would 
please to favour me, so far as to kill me, rather titan to leave 
me unto anything that might bring any remarkable Dishonour 
unto His Holy Name. (Within a few Minutes, I found my- 
self grow very ill; I thought myself arrested with an high 
Feavour; I suspected, that the Lord was going to take me 
at my own Word. But now, I perceived it was nothing 
but Vapours.) 

February begins with a very astonishing Trial. 

There is a young Gentlewoman of incomparable Accom- 
plishments. No Gentlewoman in the English America has 
had a more polite Education. She is one of rare Witt and 
Sense; and of a comely Aspect; and extremely Winning in 
her Conversation, and she has a Mother of an extraordinary 
Character for her Piety. 

This young Gentlewoman first Addresses me with 
diverse Letters, and then makes me a Visit at my House; 
wherein she gives me to understand, that she has long had 
a more than ordinary Value for my Ministry; and that since 
my present Condition has given her more of Liberty to 
think of me, she must confess herself charmed with my 
Person, to such a Degree, that she could not but break in 
upon me, with her most importunate Requests, that I 
would make her mine; and that the highest Consideration 
she had in it, was her eternal Salvation, for if she were mine, 
she could not but hope the Effect of it would be, that she 
should also be Christ's. 

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4S8 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

I endeavoured faithfully to sett before her, all the dis- 
couraging Circumstances attending me, that I could think 
of. She told me, that she had weigh'd all those Discourage- 
ments, but was fortified and resolved with a strong Faith 
in the mighty God, for to encounter them all. And whereas 
I had mention'd my way of Uving, in continual Prayers, 
Tears, Fasts, and macerating Devotions and Reservations, 
to divert her from her Proposal, she told me, that this very 
Consideration was that which animated her; for she desired 
nothing so much as a Share in my way of Living. 

I was in a great Strait, how to treat so polite a Gentle- 
woman, thus applying herself unto me. I plainly told her, 
that I feared, whether her Proposal would not meet with 
unsurmountable Oppositions from those who had a great 
Interest in disposing of me. However I desired, that there 
might be Time taken, to see what would be the wisest and 
fittest Resolution. 

In the mean Time, if I could not make her my own, I 
should be glad of being any way Instnmiental, to make her 
the Lord's. 

I turned my Discourse, and my Design into that Chaimel; 
and with as exquisite Artifice as I could use, I made my 
Essayes to engage her young Soul into Piety. 

She is not much more than twenty years old. I know 
she has been a very aiery Person. Her Reputation has been 
under some Disadvantage. 

What Snares may be laying for me, I know not. Much 
Prayer with Fasting and Patience, must be m}- way to 
encounter them. 

I think, how would my Lord Jesus Christ Himself treat 
a returning Sinner. 

I shall shortly see more into the Meaning of this odd 
Matter. 

One of the Things which befel me in the Year past was 
this. 

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ItJBKUrtKli, 1 y (J J - u 3 459 

A poor Indian, being Drunk, murdered his Friend. He 
was under twenty years of Age. The Keeper of the Prison 
pray'd me to undertake the Instruction of him. I found 
him utterly Ignorant of every Thing. He did not so much 
as know that he had a Soul in him. Yea, he profess'd unto 
me, he had never so much as heard, that there is a God. 
It was an incredible Task to convey the Notions of Religion, 
into a Mind, so ignorant, so desolate, so barbarous. I took 
a deal of Pains to illuminate this forlorn Creature from time 
to time. God prospered me. He became able to give a 
notable Account of the main Articles in the Christian Faith. 
He express'd his Beleeving on Christ, and Repenting of Sin, 
after an agreeable Manner. The only Sermon that ever he 
heard in his Life, was one of mine, in the month of November, 
(at his own Desire) the Lord's-Day before he died. My 
Speech then directed imto him, concluded with this Advice, 
that he should Uve and dy with that Word in his Heart, 
Jesus Christ came into the world, to save the Cheef of Sinners. 
On the Wednesday following he was executed, and made an 
hopeful End. I pray'd with him at it. His last words, as 
turning off the Ladder, were; Jesus Christ came into the 
World to save the Cheef of Sinners: O Lord Jesus Christ, save 
me, I pray thee I ' 

The Course of my Pubuc Ministry. 

IS d. 12 m. [February.] 1701. I preached, on Prov. 12. 26. The 
Righteous more excellent than his Neighbour. 

'The murderer was named Sara. Chapen, who went about on crutches; the 
murdered was his cousin, Sara, of Weymouth. "It was sad to see or hear how 
swift his wooden feet were to shed innocent Blood, with a short knife, wherewith 
he stabd his Neighbour. He lived at Braintry and yet was miserably ignorant as 
to Religious Concerns. But by the Unwearied Endeavours of Mr. C. Mather and 
others directed by him, tis hoped he dyed a true Penitent. Mr. Mather went and 
pray'd with him at the place of Execution. I venturd to lay out Eleven Shillings 
to purchase his Qoaths and a CoflBn of rough Boards. I hope this Humanity will 
help to reconcile the Indians to the Justice done on their Countryman." Sewall 
to Sir William Ashurst, December 22, 1702. LeUer Book, l. 276. 

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460 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

22d.i2m. I preached (in course) on Eph. i. 9. The Sover- 
eignty of Grace, display'd in the Dispensation of the Gospel. 

id. im. [March.] 1702. I preached on Prov. 2. 20. The way 
of good Men. 

$d. im. Thursday, I preached unto a great Assembly, with a 
great Assistence, on Heb. 11. 24. The Duties of Persons, when they 
come to years. 

8d. I m. I preached on Eph. i. 10. The Dispensation of Times 
in the Hand of God. 

15 d. I m. I preached, on Luk. 10. 42. The good Part that 
cannot be taken away. (On occasion of a Fire destroying 10 or 12 
Storehouses in the Town, the last week.) And I administred the 
Eucliarist. 

22d.i.m. I preached on Eph. i. 10. The Gathering together 
again in one, all things, in Christ. 

29 d. 1 m. I preached, on Prov. 14. 9. Fools making a mock 
at Sin. 

2d. 2 m. [.April.] Thursday. It was a general Fast. I preached, 
on Psal. 79. 8. Flying to the tender Mercies of God, when we are 
brought very low. 

^d. 2 m. I preached on Eph. i. 10. and further prosecuted, 
the Gathering together of all things, in Christ. 

12 d. 2 m. I preached, on Prov. 12. 25. Good Words, for heavy 
Hearts. 

16 d. 2 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Luk. 18. 22. 
The Necessity, and yett Insufficiency, of Morality. 

ig d. 2 m. I preached on Eph. i. 11. Our obtaining an Inher- 
itatwe, in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

26 d. 2 m. I preached, on Prov. 4. 26. Pondering tlie Path of 
our Feet; tite Duty of Consideration, to examine what our Wayes have 
been, and to determine what they shall be. 

30 d. 2 m. Thursday. I preached, the Lecture, on Psal. 103. 14. 
God's mercifully considering the Frame of His Children; and our 
Duty to consider our own. 

3 d. 3 m. [May.] I preached on Eph. i. 11. God, as working all 
Things. 

lorf. 3»«. I preached, on i. Joh. 3. 14. .Assurances of being 
in a Stale of Grace, fctch'd from a Work of Grace. (And I administred 
the Eucharist.) 

lyd.^m. I preached on Eph. i. 11. The Decree of God, the 
Wisdome of it, and the Frcedome of it, the Counsel of His Will. 

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FEBRUARY, 1702-03 461 

24 d. 3 m. I preached, on Lam. 5. 19. The Throne of the Lord 
Jesus Christ from Generation to Generation. (Having heard this 
Morning, the Tidings of the Death of the King.) ' 

31 d. 3 w. I preached on Prov. 11. 30. The Winning of Souls. 
7 d. 4 m. [June.] I preached, on Eph. i. 12. Being before others, 
in Christianity. 

11 d. 4 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Mat. 25. 45. 
Sins of Omission. 

i^d.^m. I preached on Eph. i. 12. Being, to the Praise of 
the Glory of God. 

21 d.\m. I preached, on Prov. 20, 27. The Candle of the 
Lord; with a great Assistence. 

25 d. 4 »i. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Prov. 12. 2. 
A good Man, (to a great Assembly and with a great Assistence.) 
Intending to lett my whole Countrey see, that if the Grovemour did 
not prove such an one, it should be none of my Fault. 

28 d. 4 m. I preached on Eph. i. 12. Hoping in Christ. 

$d.$m. [July.] I preached, on Job. 13. 15. A Saint asserting 
himself righteous because of the Face (the Christ) of God. (And I 
administred the Eucharist.) 

12 d.$m. I preached on, Eph. i. 13. Vee also, His Gentiles 
coming to a Share in Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. 

19 d. ^m. I preached, on Prov. 10. ^4. The Fear of the Wicked, 
and the Desire of the Righteous. 

23 d. 5 m. Thursday. The Lecture was turned into a Fast and 
kept at our North-Meeting-house; where, I preached, on Heb. 12. 26. 
The Lord shaking both Heaven and Earth. 

26 d. s wt. I preached, on Eph. i. 13, The Word of Truth. 

2d. 6 m. [August.] I preached on Prov. 14. 12. The Way that 
seems Right, but is really wrong and ruinous. 

6d.6m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Mat. 16. 24. 
Bearing the Cross. 

gd.6m. I preached on Eph. i. 13. The Gospel of our Salva- 
tion. 

i6d.6m. I preached, on Prov. 11. 24. Witholding that which 
is Right. Enumerating, several Transgressions, follow'd with remark- 
able Chastisements. 

20 d. 6 m. Thursday. I preached, the Lecture, on Prov. 20. 6. 
A faithful Man. 

2^d.()m, I preached, on Prov. 15. 32. Refusing Instruction, 
• William III, who died March 8, 1702. 

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462 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

and Despising the Soul: concluding, with Caution against Despising 
the Souls, of black Servants. (After which I admitted two aged 
Negroes into the Church.) ' 

30(i. 6wj. I preached, on Eph. i. 13. Being sealed with the 
Spirit; (And I administred the Eucharist.) 

2,d. "] m. [September.] Thursday. I preached the Lecture on Phil. 
2. 12. Blamelessness. 

6d.jm. I preached, again on Eph. i. 13. The Seal of the 
Spirit. 

13 d. "J m. I preached on 'Prov. 20. 29. The Glory of young 
Men and the Beauty of old Men. 

17 d. T m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Mat. 10. 16. 
The Wisdome of the Serpent, mixed with the Goodness of the Dove. 

20 d. J m. I preached on Eph. i. 13. The holy Spirit of Promise. 

27 d. "] m. I preached on Prov. 24. 10. Kot fainting in the Day 
of Adversity (It being such a Day both in my Family, and in my 
Neighbourhood. ) 

29 d. 7 m. Tuesday. I preached, the Lecture at Roxbury on Prov. 
20. 27. 

4d.8m. [October.] I preached, again, on Eph. i. 13. The holy 
Spirit of Promise. (That holy Spirit happily preventing my finishing 
my Discourse in my former Sermon, and now mightily assisting me.) 

•J d. & m. I preached the Lecture at Dedham, deUvering mostly 
the same Things, (and with a great Assistence from Heaven.) 

11 d.im. I preached, on Prov. i. 23. Turning to God, at the 
Reproof of Christ, attended with the Pouring out of His holy Spirit. 

It, d. & m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Isa. 26. 9. 
Learning Righteousness by the Judgmaits of God. (It being a Time 
of such.) 

i8d. 8 m. I preached on Eph. i. 14. The Holy Spirit, the 
Earnest of our Inheritaiue. 

22 d. 8 m. Thursday. A general Fast. I preached on, Gen. 18. 
25 (That be far from thee.) How Pleading in Praying is to be man- 
aged. 

25 cf. 8 OT. I preached on Eph. i. 14. The Redemption of the 
purchased Possession. (.*\nd I administred the Eucharist.) A Time 
of e.xtraordinary Communion with Heaven. 

I d. gm. [Xovember.] I preached, on Eph. i. 14. How God 
will have the Praise of His Glory, from all that He brings to Glory. 

' Samuel, servant of R. Howard, and Katharine, wife of Thomas, the chair- 
maker. 

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1 ETHRncnftnEfTr, i 7 o :; - o 3 463 

id.gm. I preached, on Prov. 4. 22. The Dictates of Religion, 
which have a special Tendency to prolong Life, and prcBserve Health. 
(It being a very dying and sickly Time.) 

12 d. g m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on the Lord's 
Raising of James's daughter. (Purposing while the present Calamity 
of the Small-pox and Feavour is upon the Town, to entertain the 
People with such Admonitions, as I may find for them in some of 
our Lords healing Miracles!) 

15 d. 9 m. And that I may feed my own Flock, with seasonable 
Discourses at this calamitous Time, I began to them a course of 
Sermons, on the History, at, Joh. 4. 46. This Day handling that 
point, that Sickness in a Family bespeaks Duty from a Family. 

2 2d. gm. I preached on Joh. 4. 46. More Acquaintance with 
Christ, the Fruit of much Affliction from God. (My Father being 
sick, I also administred the Eucharist.) A Time of much Com- 
munion with Heaven. 

29 d. g m. I preached on Joh. 4. 46. Friends of Christ, found 
among all Ranks of Men; and, no Condition exempting any man from 
great Affliction. And, Sickness on Children a Distress to Parents 
(It happened, my only Son, and my little Daughter, at this very 
Time, lay ill and full of the Small Pox. 

6 d. 10 m. [December.] I preached on Ezek. 24. 16 The Death 
of a desirable Relative. (A funeral Sermon for my lovely Consort.) 

10 d. 10 m. Thursday. T'was a Day of Thanksgiving thro' the 
Province. Considering the extream Affliction upon the Town, and 
upon my own Family, I chose to preach on Hab. 3. 2. Mercy 
remembred in Wrath. 

13 d. 10 m. I preached on, Joh. 4. 47. Coming to the Lord 
Jesus Christ for healing .Mercies. And, Faith mixed with the Folly 
of Limiting the Wisdome of God, unto our own Way of answering it. 
And, it's being a Point of much Agony, to see one lying at the Point 
of Death. 

20 d. 10 m. I preached, on Joh. 4. 48. Mercy in the Delay of 
Mercy. And, the greater Consequences to gett the Cure of spiritual 
Maladies than of bodily. And, the other Proofs of the Messiah 
besides His healing miracles. And, the Difficulty of Beleeving. 

27 d. 10 m. I preached, on Joh. 4. 49. Worldly Cares hindring 
mens Attention to the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ. And Things 
to be done quickly, lest the Arrival of Death make 'em too late to 
be done. 

Zd.iim. [January.] I preached on Joh. 4. 50. (The Death of 

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464 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Children to be livelily deprecated; the Power of Christ to do what 
He will with a Word. And give Life. Prayers answered in another 
Manner than we propose. Bodily and spiritual Healing together. 
Faith given to some who never asked for it. 

•J d. 11 m. Thursday. I preached the Lecture, on Luk 2. 15. 
Ecaven, with a very marvellous Assistence. 

10 d. II m. I preached, on Joh. 4. 51. The Duty of Servants, 
ti) be concerned for the Welfare of their Masters. And, good Newes 
at some time other meeting of Beleevers. 

ijd.iim. I preached on Job. 19. 25. The litnng Redeemer. 
(And I administred the Eucharist.) 

igd. II m. Tuesday. I preached the Lecture at Roxbury. The 
same Sermon. 

24^. iiw. I preached on Joh. 4. 52. The Oi^emwg of Remark- 
able Circumstances in DiNdne Dispensations towards us; particularly 
the observable Timing of them. 

31 (f. II w. I preached, on Joh. 4. 53. Mens knowing at last 
that the Words of Christ have their ."Accomplishments. And a Mas- 
ter of a Family bringing home to Christ the rest of the Family. 

4 J. 1 2 m. [February.] Thursday. At the Lecture I made a Reca- 
pitulation of Observations on Joh. 46-53. 

■J d. 12 m. I preached, at Cliarlestouti both parts of the Day. 
A. ^L on Job. 19. 25 The living Redeemer. P. M. on Eph. i. 12. 
Admonitions to Old and Young. 

Memor.a.ndt.'m ' 

June 16. I received a \'isit from Govemour Dudley. 
Among other Things that I said to him, I used these words, 
"Syr, you arrive to the Government of a People, that have 
their various and their divided Apprehensions, about many 
things; and particularly about your own Govenmient over 
them. I am himibly of Opinion, that it will be your wis- 
dome, to carry an indifferent Hand towards all Parties; if 
in our case, I ma>' use so Coarse a Word as Parties. And 
give Occasion unto none to say, that any have monopolized, 
you, or, that you take your measures from them alone. I 
will explain myself, with the Freedome, and the Justice, 

' Written on the last sheet of this year's record. Dudley became governor 
June n. 

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FEBRTnnri; , 1702-0 3 465 

(perhaps, with the Prudence,) that you may expect from me. 
I will do no otherwise than I would be done to. I should be 
content I would approve it, and commend it, if any one 
should say to your Excellency; By no means lett any People 
have cause to say, that you take all your Measures from the 
two Mr. Mathers. By the same Rule, I may say without 
offence; by no means lett any People say, that you go by no 
Measures in your Conduct, but Mr. Byfield's, and Mr. 
Leveret's. This I speak, not from any personal Prejudice 
against the Gentlemen, but from a due Consideration of the 
Disposition of the People; and as a Service to your Excel- 
lency." 

The Wretch went unto those Men, and told them, that 
I had advised him, to be no ways advised by them: and 
inflamed them into an implacable Rage against me. 



I -so 

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1703. 

THE XLIST YEAR. 

Qui bene vivit, semper orat. Gerson. 

Votum Christianorum, confusio Nationum. Tert. 

THE XLIsT YEAR OF MY LIFE. 

12 d. 12 m. [February.] 1702. Friday. Being this Day, 
forty Years old; (How solemn a Word!) I sett apart the 
Day, for the Duties of a secret Fast, before the Lord. 

In the Devotions of this Day, my Spirit felt several 
Irradiations from Heaven ; but among my Dissolutions into 
Tears, there was none more sensible, than in this Thought: 

OhI the wondrous and glorious Vertue, in the Blood of 
my Lord Jesus Christ! That all the Sins committed in forty 
Years together, are now pardoned, thro' the atoning Vertue of 
that Blood! Oh! what a Blessed Thing is the Righteousness 
of my Lord Jesus Christ; that a Man who has been horribly 
sinning for forty Years together, may stand in that Righteous- 
ness before God, and be treated and loved, as if he had been 
all this while in the exactest Manner glorifying of the Lord. 

My sore Distresses and Temptations, I this day carried 
unto the Lord; with Hope of His Compassions, to his 
tempted Servant. 

The cheef of them lies in this. The well accomplished 
Gentlewoman, mention'd, (tho' not by Name,) in the Close 
of the former Year; one whome every body does with 
Admiration confess to be, for her charming Accomplish- 
ments, an incomparable Person; addressing me to make 

(466I 

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FEBRUARY, 1702-03 467 

her mine; and professing a Disposition unto the most Holy 
Flights of Religion to ly at the Bottom of her Addresses: 
I am in the greatest Straits imaginable, what Course to 
steer. Nature itself causes in me, a mighty Tenderness for 
a person so very amiable. Breeding requires me to treat 
her with Honour and Respect, and very much of Deference, 
to all that she shaU at any time ask of me. But Religion, 
above all, obUges me, instead of a rash rejecting her Con- 
versation, to contrive rather, how I may imitate the Good- 
ness of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His Dealing with such as 
are upon a Conversion unto Him. 

On the other side; I cannot but fear a fearful Snare, 
and that I may soon fall into some Error in my Conversa- 
tion, if the Point proposed unto me, be found, after all, 
unattaineable, thro' the violent Storm of Opposition, which 
I cannot but foresee and suspect will be made unto it. 

The dreadful Confusions, which I behold Heaven, even 
devising for me, do exceedingly break and wast my spirit. 
I should recover a wondrous Degree of Health, if I were 
not broken by these Distresses, and grievous Temptations. 
But these things cause me to spend more Time than ordi- 
nary for the most part every Day, in Prayers and in Tears, 
prostrate on my Study-floor before the Lord. Yea, and 
they cause me by Night also sometimes to hold my Vigils, 
m which I cry to God, until, and after, the Middle of the 
Night, that He would look down upon me, and help me, 
and save me, and not cast me off. 

18 d. 12 m. Thursday. This Day was kept as a Fast, 
thro' the Province. I enjoy'd great Assistences, in the ser- 
vices of the Day. 

As for my special soul-harassing Point; I did some 
Dayes ago, under my Hand, vehemently beg, as for my 
Life, that it might be desisted from, and that I might not 
be kill'd by hearing any more of it. Yett such was my 
flexible Tenderness, as to be conquered by the Impor- 

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468 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

tunities of several, to allow some further Interviewes. But 
I resolved, that I would make them turn chiefly upon the 
most glorious Design in the World. I did, accordingly; 
and once especially, I did, with all the Charms I could 
imagine, draw that witty Gentlewoman imto tearful Expres- 
sions of her Consent, unto all the Articles in the Covenant 
of Grace, the Articles of her Marriage and Union with the 
Great L[ord] Redeemer. I had Abundance of Satisfaction 
in this Action; whatever may be the Issue of our Conver- 
sation. 

20 d. 12 m. Satureday. My grievous Distresses, (occa- 
sion'd especially by the late Addresses made imto me, by 
the person formerly mentioned, and the Opposition of her 
Enemies,) cause me to fall down before the Lord, with 
Prayers and with Tears continually. And because my 
Heart is sore pained within me, to think, what I shall do, 
or what will be the Issue of my distressing Affayr, I think 
it proper to multiply my Vigils before the Lord. One of 
them I kept this Night; and as it grew towards the Morn- 
ing, after I had cried imto the Lord, for my Releef and 
Succour, under the Temptations now harassing of me, I 
did again throw myself prostrate in the Dust, before the 
Lord; beseeching of Him, that if He would not hear my 
cries for myself. He would yett hear my cries for my Flock; 
and hereupon I wrestled with the Lord for my great Con- 
gregation, that the Interests of Religion might prevail 
mightily among them, and especially in the young People 
of my Congregation. 

It was a Consolation imto me, to think, that when my 
People were all asleep in their Beds, their poor Pastor 
should be watching, and praying and weeping for them. 

The Lord, in His holy Sovereignity orders it, that I 
am left unto great Vexations from Satan, about this Time; 
who fills me with fears, that I am a man rejected and ab- 
horred of God, and given up to the worst of Delusions; and 

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MARCH, 1702-03 469 

that the Lord will make no more use of me to glorify Him. 
I am scarce able to live under these doleful Disconsolations. 

And that I may be left utterly destitute of all humane 
Support, my Relatives, thro' their extreme Distaste at the 
Talk of my Respects for the Person, above mentioned; and 
fear lest I should over- value her; do treat me with unsup- 
portable Strangeness and Harshness. 

Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for meJ 

2j d. 12 m. Satureday. I sett apart this Day for Prayer 
with Fasting in my study; especially to commend my dis- 
tressing Affayr unto the Lord. 

As for the ingenious ChUd, that sollicits my Respects 
imto her, I cry to the Lord, with Fervency and Agony and 
Floods of Tears, that she may be the Lord's; and that her 
Union and Marriage to the Lord Jesus Christ, may be the 
Effect of the Discourses I have had with her. But I also 
resign her, and offer her up unto the Lord; and earnestly 
profess unto Him, that tho' I sett a great Value upon her, 
yett I can deny myself every thing in the World, that the 
Glory of His Name, and my Service to His Name, shall 
oblige me to part withal. Wherefore, I continually beg of 
the Lord, that Hee will show me my Duty and bring my 
Distress to a comfortable Issue. 

1703. 

2,d. im. [March.] Wednesday. My dreadful Distresses 
continue upon me. 

For which Cause, I sett apart this Day, for the Duties 
of a secret Fast before the Lord; that I may obtain Direc- 
tion in, and Deliverance from, the Distresses which do so 
exceedingly harass and buffet my Mind, and break my Soul 
to Peeces. 

As also, that I may obtain the Presence of the Lord 
with me, in the Lecture to morrow, when I am to do a 
special Service, for His Interests. 

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470 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

6d. I m. Satureday. Tho' I have kept one Fast in my 
Study this Week already, yett I must this Day keep another. 

I am a most miserable Man. 

That young Gentlewoman of so fine Accomplishments, 
(that there is none in this Land in those Respects com- 
parable to her,) who has with such repeated Importunity 
and Ingenuity pressed my Respects to her, that I have had 
much ado to steer clear of great Inconveniencies, hath by 
the Disadvantages of the Company which has continually 
resorted unto her unhappy Father's House, gott but a bad 
Name among the Generality of the People; and there 
appears no Possibility of her speedy Recovery of it, be 
her Carriage never so vertuous, and her Conversion never 
so notorious. By an unhappy Coincidence of some Cir- 
cumstances, there is a Noise, and a mighty Noise it is, 
made about the Town, that I am engaged in a Courtship 
to that young Gentlewoman; and tho' I am so very inno- 
cent, (and have so much aimed at a Conformity to my 
Lord Jesus Christ, and Serviceableness to Him, in my 
treating of her,) yett it is not easy presently to confute the 
Rumour. 

I am now under incredible Disadvantages. The Design 
of Satan, to entangle me in a Match that might have proved 
ruinous to my Family, or my Ministry, is defeated, by my 
Resolution totally to reject the Addresses of the young 
Gentlewoman to me; which I do, for the sake of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, whose Name, I see will suffer, if I accept her; 
and I do it cheerfully, tho' she be so very charming a Person. 

But then, Satan has raised an horrid Storm of Reproach 
upon me, both for my Earliness in courting a Gentlewoman, 
and especially for my Courting of a Person whom they 
generally apprehend so disagreeable to my Character. 
And there is hazard, lest my Usefulness be horribly Ruined, 
by the Clamour of the rash People on this Occasion, before 
there can be due Measures taken to quiet them; and my 

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MARCH, 1702-03 471 

Civility to the Person who has address'd me, will not lett 
me utter what would most effectually quiet them. 

I am a man greatly assaulted by Satan. Is it because I 
have done much against that Enemy? or, are the Judgments 
of God incessantly pursuing of me, for my Miscarriages! 

My Spirit is excessively broken. There is Danger of 
my dying suddenly, with smothered Griefs and Fears. I 
know not what to do, but to pour out my Soul unto the 
Lord, and submitt unto His dreadful Sovereignity and 
Righteousness; but cry mightily imto Him, that He would 
yett rescue my precious Opportunities to glorify the L[ord] 
Jesus Christ (the Apple of my Eye,) from the Mischiefs 
which do threaten them. 

This is my Condition this Day; and this the Occasion 
of my being thus again before the Lord. 

12 d. 1 m. Friday. While I am thus feeble and sore 
broken, I have no Remedy but Prayer, and Patience, and 
profound Submission to the awful Sovereignty of God. 

Nevertheless, there fall out several Things, to support 
me with some Hopes, that the Lord hath not wholly cast 
me off. 

The Spirit of the Lord sometimes does visit me, with 
Raptures of Assurance, that He has lov'd me, and that I 
shall glorify Him. I am sometimes even ready to faint 
away, with the rapturous Praelibations of the Heavenly 
World; it makes me even faint and sick, to enjoy such 
Beginnings of my being swallowed up with God, and with 
His Will, World without End. 

Moreover, my Lecture delivered the last Week, about 
the Institution and Observation of the Lord's-Day, is called 
for; and it is now in the Press, pubUshing under the Title 
of, The Day which the Lord hath made > I hope, it may 
many Wayes prove serviceable to the Interests of Religion: 

'Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, and sold by Benjamin Eliot. It was 
reprinted by B. Green in 1707, with a translation into the Indian language. 

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472 DIARY OP COTTON MATHER 

Blessed be the Holy Lord of the Sabbath, who has accepted 
from me, this Testimony for the Sabbath. 

About the Publication of that Book, I may take notice 
of one thing very remarkable. I am given to imderstand, 
that a wicked company of Manifesto-men, a year or two 
ago, procured a Press and Letters, to be sent for, imto 
London, in a special Manner, to print Libels against the 
Churches of New England and the Servants of the Churches, 
and no Man so much as myself. The new Prpss and Let- 
ters arrive. The Wretches that were mine and the Churches 
Enemies, find themselves in such Confusion, that they can 
make no Use of them. They sell them, to my Printer. 
My Book on the Lord's Day, is the first that is printed with 
them. Yea, the first use made of them, is in publishing 
several of my Composures.' 

And now, a strange Thing is this Day come to pass; 
which tho* it may plimge me into sore Dbtresses and Temp- 
tations, yett I see in it, a Demonstration of the Testimony 
from Heaven which I have in the Consciences of the People 
throughout the Land; notwithstanding all the Enemies 
which my vigorous Appearing for the evangelical Interests 
has procured for me. The House of Representatives, in 
the General Assembly, and as full an House as has been 
ordinarily known, unanimously, every Man of them, voted 
the most unworthy Man in the World, for to be President 
of the Colledge in Cambridge.^ God knowes, what further 
Trials are coming upon me! Lord, prepare and strengthen 
thy poor Servant, I pray thee, I pray thee I 

12, d. im. Satureday. I am again this Day Isefore the 
Lord, as I was twice the last week; and on the same dis- 
tressing Occasions; as also to ask the Presence of the Lord 
with me, in some special Actions, and Services that are 
quickly before me. 

' This paragraph is written in the margin. 

' Quincy, History of Harvard University, i. 149. 

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MARCH, 1702-03 473 

iSd.im. Munday. Our Captives in Barbary, have been 
the Subjects of many Prayers, among the People of God: 
and poor I have had a special Share in those Prayers: 
wherein also I received and uttered my Assurances many 
Years ago, that I should also have a Share in offering Praises 
to oiu: glorious Redeemer; for the Answers of those Prayers. 
The Prayers are now answered; gloriously answered. The 
Captives have been returned. A Niunber of them is now 
in this Town. I therefore appointed them this Day, to 
attend me at my House; I also sent for the Christians that 
compose the many Praying-meetings in our Neighbourhood. 
We kept a solemn Thanksgiving; and we enjoyed a sweet 
Presence of the Lord with us, in the Exercises of it. 

Looking back, on the XXXIVth year of my Life, I 
find, that I had there entred a Partictdar-Faith received 
then from Heaven, that I should Uve to do such an Action ! ' 

I preached on Rom. 2. 4. The Improvement that should 
[be] made of the Divine Goodness, and made a Recapitula- 
tion of the great, and strange Things done by the Divine 
Goodness, for the redeemed Captives. 

I afterwards fitted the Discourse for the PubUck, and 
was willing to erect a standing and lasting Monument of 
the Divine Goodness express'd on this Occasion. I gave it 
unto the Booksellers, entituled. The Glory of Goodness.' 

And now, being after all due Deliberation, fully satisfied, 
that my Countenancing the Proposals of coming one Day 
to a Marriage, with the Gentlewoman so often mentioned 
in these Papers, will not be consistent with my public Ser- 
viceableness; but that the Prejudices in the Minds of the 
People of God against it, are insuperable, and Uttle short 
of universal: I sett myself to make unto the L[ord] Jesus 
Christ, a Sacrifice of a Person, who, for many charming 
Accomphshments, has not many sequals in the English 

' Written in the margin. 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1703. 

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474 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

America. In making of my Sacrifice, I have not gone upon 
any inferiour Considerations, nor have I minded, but 
sleighted, the defamatory Stories, which have been uttered 
concerning her, as knowing how Uttle Weight there is to 
be laid upon popular Slanders. But I have been acted 
purely, by a rehgious Respect imto the Holy Name of the 
L[ord] Jesus Christ, and my Serviceableness to His precious 
Interests; which I had a thousand Times rather dy, than 
damnify. My Victory over Flesh and Blood in this Mat- 
ter, was no unhappy Symptom, I hope, of Regeneration in 
my Soul. I encouraged myself with Hopes, that God 
would carry me well thro' my Sacrifice, in preserving the 
Person addressing me from any Damage by her Fondness 
for me; (but I must continue praying for her!) And that 
I should one Day meet with some wonderful Recompences. 

I struck my Knife, into the Heart of my Sacrifice, by 
a Letter to her Mother. 

24 d. I m. Wednesday. The Lord accepted me this Day, 
to glorify Him. 

The Flock at Woburn, being destitute of a Minister 
they referr'd it unto me, to appoint a Time, when I would 
come and pray and fast with them, to obtain from our 
ascended Lord, a Pastor after His own Heart. I did appoint 
this Day; and it prov'd a very comfortable Day. There 
was a vast Assembly of People, among whom I carried on 
the bigger Part by far of all the Duties of the Day, with a 
very great Assistence from the Lord. None of all the 
Devices of Satan, can prevent the Lord's using of me in 
Services for His dearest Name, and giving me to find a 
strange Respect among His People above any Man in all 
the Land. 

Lordl Accept me still more and more, to honour my 
L[ord] Jesus Christ! 

It comes to pass, that my little Book of the Lord's-Day, 
is presented unto every Member of the General Assembly 

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APRIL, 1703 475 

now sitting; by which means, it immediately passes into 
every Part of the Province. This also is a merciful Provi- 
dence. 

27 d. I w. Satureday. Was ever man more tempted, 
than the miserable Mather 1 Should I tell, in how many 
Forms the Divel has assaulted me, and with what Subtilty 
and Energy, his Assaults have been carried on, it would 
strike my Friends with Horrour. 

Sometimes, Temptations to Impurities; and sometimes 
to Blasphemy, and Atheism, and the Abandonment of all 
Religion, as a meer Delusion; and sometimes, to self- 
Destruction itself. These, even these, miserable Mather, 
do follow thee, with an astonishing Fmy. But I fall down 
into the Dust, on my Study-floor, with Tears before the 
Lord; and then they quickly vanish: tis fair Weather again. 
Lord! what wilt thou do with me I 

29 d. I m. Munday. An astonishing Dispensation of 
Providence, this day befalls me.' 

I d. 2 m. [April.] Thursday. The Glorious Lord, will in 
a most surprising Manner still accept me, and employ me, 
to glorify Him. I had resigned my Lecture to my Father, 
(submitting to preach at a more inconvenient Season, a 
Fortnight ago;) but he is this Week indisposed with a 
short Fitt of his Gout. I must therefore imexpectedly 
preach the Lecture; and making, secret Prayer, the Subject 
of my Sermon, (a Subject which I thought, might prove 
of great Service to the Christians of the Town,) I had some 
comfortable Perswasions, when I was at secret Prayers, pros- 
trate in the Dust before the Lord, that He would reward 
me openly and make my Labour to be useful among His 
People. And so tis like to prove. In the Evening of this 
Day, after the Lecture, being with a Society of Christians, 
they unanimously asked me for the Notes of my Sermon, 
and agreed that they would be at the Charge of publishing 

' The record of the dispensation is wanting. 

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476 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

and dispersing of it thro' the Countrey. I gratified their 
Desire; entituled the Sermon, The Retired Christian.' 

3 <f. 2 w. Satureday. I sett apart this Day for Prayer, 
with Fasting in my Study; to implore the God of all Grace, 
that He would give me Grace, to carry it well under my 
Temptations, and help me to take right Steps in my soli- 
tary Widowhood; and I resigned my Heart imto His Holy 
Spirit, that so, if He will in His Time allow my Return 
unto the married State, I may be wholly directed by Him, 
unto that which may be most for His Glory and Service. 

My Design was also, to recommend unto the Conduct 
and Blessing of God, a Journey to Salem, which I design 
shortly to undertake. 

In the following Week, I did not spend a Day in the 
Exercises of a secret Fast, partly because I was creepled with 
rhumatic Pains (not without some Symptomes of arthritic 
ones,) for diverse Dayes; and partly because there was kept 
a Day of public Thanksgiving, for Successes against the 
French Enemy; wherein I enjoy'd special Assistence and 
Enlargement. 

I am under singular Distresses. Wliat I would on many 
Accounts prefer, as the most ehgible and honourable Con- 
dition, would be to continue all the rest of my little Time, 
in an unspotted Widowhood. 

But my Family suffers by it, in several Instances. And 
yett I could concoct and conquer this Inconvenience, much 
easier than some other Circumstances. 

My Father presses me frequently and fervently, that I 
would by no means take up Resolutions to continue in my 
Widowhood. My flexible Temper makes it not easy for 
me to resist his Exhortations. 

But I foresee, and already suffer, a worse Encumbrance. 
The Applications, which the Gentlewoman formerly men- 
tioned in these Papers, has made unto me, hzxe occasioned 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1703. 

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APRIL, 1703 477 

very many Misrepresentations of me, among a foolish 
People. The coarse, tho' just. Usage that she has had 
from me, will also putt her upon a thousand Inventions. 
I shall be continually every Week, persecuted with some 
Noise and Nonsense carried about the Town concerning 
me. The Persecution of the Lyes daily invented about me, 
Yoll be, I see insupportable. All the Friends I have in the 
World, perswade me, that I shall have no Way to gett from 
under these Confusions, but by proceeding imto another 
Marriage. 

Lord, help me, what shall I do? I am a miserable man. 

13 d. 2 m. Tuesday, 14. Wednesday, 15. Thursday. The 
Dispensations of Heaven towards me, in and since, the 
Death of my lovely Consort, have been very awful. 

I have lately waded thro' dreadful Temptations, and I 
tremble to think, what may be the next Storm, that will 
be raised upon me. 

About eleven Months having passed since the Lord 
began to take away from me the Desire of my Eyes, my 
Friends begin to press my Thoughts of returning to the 
married State. This is a Point of terrible Consequence. 
I had need use more than ordinary HumiUations, and Suj>- 
plications, and Resignations, upon an Occasion so full of 
Agony. 

Tho' I have rarely lett a Week pass me, without setting 
apart a Day for Prayer with Fasting, for now many, many 
Months together; and I have ever now and then had my 
Vigils, for a Conversation with Heaven; and every Day 
for the most Part, I have had one secret Prayer more than 
I use to have, and lain prostrate, in the Dust, with Tears 
before the Lord, because of my Distresses: Yett I thought 
it necessary to do something more than all of this. I 
resolved upon doing a thing, which I do not know to have 
been done, by any Man Uving in the World. I took up a 
Resolution, to spend no less than THREE DAYES together, 

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478 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

in Prayer with Fasting in my Study; and beseech the Lord 
thrice, knocking at the Door of Heaven for three Dayes 
together. 

And now, the Lord has carried me thro' this extraordi- 
nary Undertaking; even beyond what one of my feeble 
Constitution could have look'd for. 

I was desirous that each Day shoiUd have its peciiliar 
Character; tho' there were many general Strokes of Devo- 
tion wherein each Day agreed. 

The singular Character of \h& first Day, was Confession 
of, and Contrition for, the Sins, that exposed me to the 
Displeasure of Heaven; (wherein I used a Catalogue of 
Things forbidden and required in the Commandments, as 
well as the Ingredients of original Sin:) and Petition for 
the Pardon of all, thro' the Blood of the L[ord] Jesus Christ. 

The singular Character of the second Day, was Resigna- 
tion to the Will of God, in whatever Sorrowes had already 
befallen me, and in all the sorrowful Things, which I could 
imagine hereafter to be inflicted on me, by the sovereign 
Will and Pleasure of Heaven. 

Astonishing Entertainments from Heaven, were granted 
me, in and from this Action. God opened Heaven to me, 
after a Manner, that I may not, and indeed cannot express 
in any Writing. All I will here insert is, that now the 
Thought of Dying, (and going to the heavenly World) was 
become the most easy and pleasant Thing in the World 
unto me. I am now advised from Heaven, that God is 
mine, and I am His; and He has wonderful Things to do 
for me. 

The singular Character of the third Day, was. Request 
first for Help under and against all the Assaults of Tempta- 
tions upon me, and then for the angeUcal Ministry to be 
employ'd on my behalf, and for my Help in those Cases, 
where the Heirs of Salvation use to be befriended, by the 
Ministers who do the Pleasure of the Lord. 

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APRIL, 1703 479 

Extraordinary Things were again done for me, that can- 
not be related. I will only say, the Angels of Heaven are 
at work for me. And I have my own Angel, who is a better 
Friend unto me, than any I have upon Earth. 

The great Point of my Return to the married State, I 
did on each of the three Dayes, with a Variety of tearful 
SuppUcations plead before the Lord. I have submitted 
unto all the Inconveniencies of a single State, if the Lord 
will confine me to it; only I have begg'd of Him, the Gifts 
of Purity and Patience. But I have left the Matter en- 
tirely unto the Lord; who will ■mthold no good Thing from 
me. I have putt my Mind over into the Hands of the Holy 
Spirit, that it may be disposed aright in the Matter. I 
have committed unto my Lord Jesus Christ, the Care of 
providing an agreeable Consort for me, if my support in 
the Service of His Church (which I am daily espousing 
unto Him) render it necessary or convenient. I know, that 
some surprising Thing will be done for me. 

My three Dayes left me, in a very desireable Frame, 
very fearful of sinning against God; very raised in my 
Thoughts of Christ and Heaven; very watchful to do good, 
and bring forth much Fruit unto the Lord. 

But because an Admission to extraordinarily Litimate 
Communion with Heaven, uses in my Experience to be fol- 
lowed with sore Buflfetings from Satan, either by internal 
Impressions, or by external Occurrences, I had a trembling 
Expectation of what might follow upon that Intercourse 
with Heaven, whereto I had newly been admitted. 

I found within two Dayes, my Mind begun to be hor- 
ribly agitated, with Vexations, which did somewhat renew 
an Experience, that I had so often mett withal. 

On the Lord's-Day ensuing, my public Sermon (to a 
vast Assembly,) had upon it, a sweet and strong Relish, of 
the heavenly Devotions, thro' which I had been passing 
the Week before. 

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480 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

The next Week, I omitted keeping a Day of Prayer, 
because of my Over-doing the last week. 

Nevertheless, I did not omitt endeavouring a further 
Service for the Lord. 

I have all along, mightily desired, that whatever befalls 
me, may afford some Revenues of Glory to my Lord Jesus 
Christ. I have been called lately unto sad and sore Trials, 
wherein my Resignation unto the Will of God, has been 
tried unto the uttermost. I have (with His Assistence) a 
little exemplified that Resignation, and then preached it in 
a Sermon, imto my People. I saw, that this Resignation 
was a point of much Occurrence, and of as much Conse- 
quence, in the Course of Christianity, among all the People 
of God. I fitted my Discourse for the Press, and it is 
hereupon immediately printed; imder the Title of, The 
High Attainment.' 

25 d. 2 wi. Lord's-Day. After my public Labours this 
Day, I visited in the Evening, a Meeting of religious yoimg 
Men, with whom I pray'd and preach'd for their Encourage- 
ment, in the good Wayes of Religion. 

But hereupon the young Men took a Copy of the Dis- 
course and immediately committed it unto the Press. It 
was a Discourse, upon the Advantage of going before others, 
in early Christianity; (on Eph. i. 11.) and I have entituled 
it. Agreeable Admonitions to both Old and Young.' 

In the Week ensuing, I did resolve to entertain the 
Town, with a Discourse, at the Lecture, upon, A Family 
Sacrifice; and therein to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ, by 
representing Him under that Consideration to the Faith of 
His People; and therewith to make the late Dispensations 
of Heaven towards the Families of the Town, an Occasion 
for the Quickening of all Family-Religion in them. 

That I might obtain special Assistences from Heaven, 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen, 1703. 
'Ibid. 

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MAY, 1703 481 

for the Work before me, I spent the Wednesday in Prayers, 
and Tears, and Humiliations, with Fasting before the Lord. 
(As Hkewise, to obtain Help, in regard of all my other 
Distresses.) 

On the Thursday, I received, I enjoyed, what I had 
requested. The Glorious Lord, was mightUy with me, in 
what was then before me. 

The Discourse, being fitted for the Press, it is published, 
imder the Title of, A Famtly-Sacrifice ; and intended for 
to be, by particular Methods, dispersed thro' the Countrey, 
and especially into the unhappy Families, where God is not 
worshipped. 1 

Oh! the astonishing Dispensations of Heaven, towards 
one of the greatest Sinners upon Earth! While I have my 
Spirit broken with sorrowful Distresses, and horrible Temp- 
tations, and Satan is using exquisite Endeavours to render 
me unserviceable, the Lord employes me in more Service 
for Him, than perhaps ever in my Life before. No less than 
six Books, do I now publish, in about the space of two 
months; aU of which will prove useful I hope, imto the 
Interests of my glorious Lord. 

5 d. 3 »w. [May.] Wednesday. Yesterday I was employed, 
with some other Ministers, in hearing, and ending some 
unhappy Differences at Medford. 

And this Day, I am employed in preaching the Lecture 
at Reading, to a great Assembly of People, gathered from 
all the Towns in the Vicinity. 

What shall I render to the Lord, who continues thus to 
make use of me! 

8 J. 3 w. Satureday. I sett apart this Day for the Exer- 
cises of a Fast in my study, on the same Occasions, that 
have of late, so often employ'd me in the like Exercises. 

' Printed by B. Green and J. Allen. Bibliographers have confused this tract 
with one bearing the title Family Religion, first issued in 1705, and being a dis- 
tinct composure. See p. 520, infra. 

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482 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

I enjoyed some Assurances, which I thought from 
Heaven, that God would be very merciful and wonderful 
in the Dispensations of His Providence, about my Return 
to the married Slate; and that for the sake of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, whose I am, a desireable Consort should be 
bestow'd upon me; and a glorious Angel of the Lord, should 
be concerned for me (as for Isaac of old,) in this important 
Matter. 

On this Day, (designing an Instnmient, for to take 
the Hearts of our young People, and make them to become 
the Lord's,) I composed a Poem, expressive of a Consent 
unto the several Articles in the glorious COVENANT of 
Grace. This I add unto a little Book, which I have now in 
the Press. 

But I this Day spread it before the Lord, as my own 
Act and Deed. 

Inexpressible Satisfaction filled my Soul, in my doing so. 

I have here annexed it, with my Hand signing of jt.> 

I am extremely Unhappy! My fond Friends take a 
Liberty of Discoursing about Matches for me. And the' 
they are such as I never took any Step about myself, yett 
presently a Discourse is raised, as if I had been myself 
concerned in the matters. This hurts me! 

13 d. 3 m. Thursday.* One Day, after Prayers, and 
Floods of Tears before the Lord, and astonishing Resigna- 
tions to and Satisfactions in His glorious Will, I was just 
overperswaded unto the taking of a Step, towards my 
Return unto the married State. But a marvellous Provi- 
dence of God, overruled it. I was diverted from doing a 
Thing, whereto my Friends, and such Friends as have a 
mighty Ascendent over me, had mightily urged me.' I 
knew, that I might on every hand, meet with great Encour- 

' This poem, in print and signed in manuscript, is in the American Antiquarian 
Society. 

' This date was struck out. 

•Words and sentences in this paragraph were struck out. 

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MAY, 17 03 483 

agements unto a matter, and yett it might prove a wrong 
Matter, if it should be prosecuted. So, I saw that the best 
of my Friends on Earth, are not much to be relied upon. 
My pliable and flexible Temper, will expose me to Ruines, 
in following the Conduct of my wisest Friends, if I don't 
watch exceedingly. I will wait imtil my heavenly Friend 
and Father, do more plainly show me, what He would have 
me to do. I will be satisfied in what the Lord shall order 
for me, tho' to me at the Present, there may seem a grievous 
Disappointment in it. 

15 (/. 3 w. Satureday. I sett apart this Day, for the 
Duties of Prayer, with Fasting, in my Study, partly that 
I might obtain the Presence of the Lord with me, in several 
important Actions, which are the next Week before me: 
But chiefly, that I might bespeak a good Issue, unto that 
very great Afiayr, namely my Return into the married 
State. 

It was a Day full of astonishing Enjoyments; a Day 
filled with Resignations, and Satisfactions, and heavenly 
Astonishments. Heaven has been opened unto me this 
Day. Never did I so long to dy, and fly away into Heaven. 
I have seen and felt unutterable Things. I have tasted 
that the Lord is gracious, I can by no means relate the 
Communications with Heaven, whereto I have been this 
Day admitted. I am now sure, that the Great God is my 
God; that I stand before God in the Righteousness of my 
Lord Jesus Christ; that no good Thing shall be witheld 
from me; that God will make an amazing use of me to 
glorify Him; and that I shall be an object for the ever- 
lasting Triumphs of sovereign and infinite Grace. 

I was not able to bear the Extasies of the Divine Love, 
into which I was raptured; They exhausted my Spirits; 
they made me faint and sick; they were insupportable; I 
was forced, even to withdraw from them, lest I should have 

swoon'd away under the Raptures. 

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484 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

Oh! what is my God going to do with me! 

Is this the Issue of the dreadful Temptations which 
have been upon me! 

My God, I am astonished! I am astonished! 

19 d. 3 w. Wednesday. A Day of Prayer with Fasting 
was kept in our Congregation; especially to implore the 
sanctifying Grace of God, for the rising Generation among 
us. There was a very Great Assembly, such as is rarely 
to bee seen in the World of People coming together for the 
Worship of God. And I enjoy'd a very great Assistence 
in my part of the Service. 

On the Day following, tho' I had been this Week, very 
sick and faint, and was hard wrought yesterday; yett 
my Strength so strangely returned, that I undertook my 
intended Journey to Salem. 

Several Persons of good Fashion were so very kind as 
to attend upon me; especially I had cause to take notice 
of Colonel Hobbies ' kindness in offering to go with me, for 
no Reason, but that he might keep me Company. 

I enjoy'd many Smiles of Heaven upon my Journey, 
from the Begiiming to the Conclusion of it. One was very 
remarkable. A fearful Hurricane and Thunderstorm over- 
took us, just as we gott out of Winnisimmet Ferry-boat, 
(a Ferry three miles wide;) which had it overtaken us four 
or five Minutes earlier, we had unquestionably perished in 
the Waters. 

I preached both parts of the Lord's-Day, at Salem; and 
on Monday returned home. 

In my Absence the young Gentlewoman, to whom I 
have been so unkind many Weeks or Months ago, writes 
and comes to my Father, and brings her good Mother with 
her and charms the Neighbours into her Interests; and 
renewes her Importunities (both before and after my Jour- 
ney) that I would make her mine. My Apprehension of 

' Charles Hobby. 

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M A Y , I 7 O 3 485 

Damage to arise therefrom unto the holy Interests of 
Religion, fixes me still in an unalterable Resolution, that 
I must never hearken to her Proposals, whatever may be 
the Consequence of my being so resolved. I am here- 
upon threatened by some with exquisite Revenges and 
Reproaches from her defeated Love; and the Hazards of 
her coming to Mischief. Some sett the Town into a new 
Storm of Obloquy upon me; and threaten me with an 
horrid Enciunbrance upon all my Intentions elsewhere to 
return unto the married State. 

Satan makes these Rebukes of Heaven upon me, after 
all my Prayers, and Tears, and Fasts and Resignations, to 
be an Occasion of sore Temptation unto me. 

However, in the midst of all this Temptation, my weep- 
ing Soul, keeps humbly professing before the Lord; that 
I wiU not give over seeking Him, tho' it appears as if I 
sought Him in vain; that I will alwayes love Him, and 
serve Him, tho' He seems as if He would lay me by from 
serving Him; that tho' He should not rescue my Oppor- 
tunities of glorifying the L[ord] Jesus Christ, from the fine 
Devices of Satan to hurt them, yett I will continue to 
glorify Him as much as ever I can all my Dayes; yea, 
tho' He should leave me without Hopes of arrising to Glory 
at the last. While I am thus professing before the Lord, 
He keeps reviving of my broken, drooping Spirit, with 
comfortable Perswasions, that He will not cast mee of, 
but that I shall see a blessed Issue of all the dark Dispen- 
sacons that are passing over me. 

That it might be so, I did on, 

29 d. 3 m. Satureday, Sett apart another Day, for Prayer 
with Fasting before the Lord. 

The following Week, did not pass without some further 

Temptations and Confusions, which it is not worth my 

while to mention; only as they furnish me Occasions for new 

Resignations of my self to the Will of God, with Humili- 

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486 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

aliens under the Sovereign and righteous Dispensations of 
His Providence towards me. 

Tis remarkable to me, that while the Lord is other 
wise laying me exceeding low, He yett gratifies me with 
strange Favours, in that Point, which is the very Apple of 
my Eye; and that is my being employ 'd in Service for 
His blessed Name. 

Being disconsolate on Thursday in the Forenoon, the 
Minister that should have preached the Lecture, imder 
Lidisposition sends to me, that I would preach it for him. 
Tho' I had scarce an Hour's Warning, yett I undertook 
the Service and preached with a mighty Assistence, to a 
mighty Assembly (the Great and General Assembly of the 
Province making part of it,) a Sermon, agreeable to such 
an Auditory, and such an one as the Lord made mightily 
acceptable. This was a sensible Smile of Heaven, on the 
poor Servant of the Lord! 

Moreover, my venerable Father publishing the Sermon, 
he preached on our late Fast; entituled. The Duty of Parents 
to pray for their Children, my Sermon is annexed unto it, 
which is. The Duty of Children whose Parents have pray'd 
for them:, or, Lessons or Godliness for the Children 
OF Godly Ancestors.' As tis an Honour imto me, thus 
to be joined with my Parent in such a Service thus it is a 
charming and lovely Emphasis upon the Points themselves 
that are handled in the Book, for two Persons thus Related 
unto each other, to have the Management of them. 

5 <f. 4 m. [June] Saiureday. I sett apart this Day, for 
Prayer with Fasting in my Study, to justify and glorify 
the Lord, under all His holy Frowns upon me, and obtain 
Grace to carry it well in my present Condition, and to 
resign myself, and all my Concerns into His glorious Hands. 

' They came to a second impression in 1719. The first part carries the names 
of B. Green and J. Allen as printers; the second part was "printed for the Book- 
sellers." 

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JUNE, 1703 487 

12 d. ^m. Satureday. I attended the like Duties again. 

The Holy Justice and Wisdome of God, shines forth, in 
His awful Dispensations towards me. 

A lying Spirit is gone forth, and the People of the Town, 
are strangely under the Influences of it. 

I have the Inconvenience of being a Person, whom the 
Eye and the Talk of the People is very much upran. My 
present Circumstances give them Opportunities to invent 
and report Abundance of disadvantageous Falsehoods, of 
my being engaged in such and such Courtships, wherein I 
am really imconcemed. But the Addresses which I have 
had from the yoimg Gentlewoman so often mentioned in 
these Papers, and the Discourses thereby raised among the 
dissatisfied People, afford the greatest Theme for their 
mischievous and malicious Lying to turn upon. When all 
Assaults upon me from that Quarter, have been hitherto 
xmsuccessful, at last, I am unhappily persecuted with 
Insinuations, that I had proceeded so far in Countenan- 
cing that matter, I could not with Honour and Justice now 
steer clear of it, as I have done. God strangely appears 
for me, in this Point also, by disposing the young Gentle- 
woman, with her Mother, to fiunish me with their Assertions, 
That I have never done any unworthy Thing; but acted most 
honourably and righteously towards them, and as became a 
Christian, and a Minister; and they will give all the World 
leave to censure them after the hardest Manner in the World, 
if ever they should speak the Contrary; Yea, they have pro- 
ceeded so far beyond all Boimds in my Vindication, as to 

say. They verily look upon Mr M r to be as great a Saint 

of God, as any upon Earth. Nevertheless, the Divel owes 
me a Spite, and he inspires his People in this Town, to 
whisper impertinent Stories, which have a Tendency to 
make me Contemptible, and hurt my Serviceableness, and 
strike at, yea, strike out the Apple of my Eye. My Spirit 
is on this Occasion too much disturbed. I am encountring 
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488 DIARY or COTTON MATHER 

an Hour and Power of Darkness. My Temptations from 
the Clamour of many People, among whom I hear the 
Defaming of many; the desolate Condition of my Family, 
not likely to be provided for; and the Desertions which 
my Soul suffers, while I behold the dreadful Frown of God 
upon my Prayers, my Fasts, my Fears, my Resignations, 
and all my Endeavours to glorify Him: these things do 
exceedingly unhinge me; and cause me sometimes to speak 
unadvisedly with my Lips. Tis well, if they do not per- 
fectly kill me. 

Nevertheless, in the Midst and in the Heighth, of all 
these Temptations, Difl&culties and Discouragements, I sett 
apart, 

18 d. 4 m. Friday, as a Day of THANKSGIVING to 
God, in my Study, for His many Mercies to me. 

On this Day, I gave myself up unto the Lord. 

And, I enumerated before the Lord, all my horrible 
Afflictions; giving Thanks to the God, who afflicted me 
in such a Point, and in such a Point. For that, He had 
afflicted me still far less than my Iniquities deserved; and 
for that, I hoped. He intended me good in all. 

I also acknowledged the astonishing Favours of Heaven 
imto me, in preserving me from terrible and ruining Snares, 
more than one or two, which have been laid in the late 
Months, for the Ruining of me, and of my Ministry, and 
of my Family. Tho' I am a very rebuked man, yett cer- 
tainly I am as preserved 'a Man, as any under Heaven! 
For which cause, Oh! how thankful ought I to be imto the 
Lord! 

But I exceedingly sett myself, to consider ivhal Revenues 
of Glory, may be contrived for my Lord JESUS CHRIST, 
out of my humbling Temptations I 

It was a ravishing Thought unto me, that if my Lord 
JESUS CHRIST, may ha\'c Revenues of Glory, out of my 
Temptations, I did hardly care, what they were, tho' never 

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JUNE, 1703 489 

SO many, never so grievous. I concluded, that surely my 
Lord JESUS CHRIST, would support and comfort me 
under all my Temptations, and give me a blessed Issue of 
them. 

One of my first Essayes, was to preach a Sermon unto 
my numerous Congregation, (from Jam. i. 2.) on that 
Point; That a good Man may maintain a great Joy under the 
Worst of his Temptations; yea, the' encountred and encum- 
bred with all sorts of Temptations. 

Another of my Essayes was this. I thought of taking 
an exemplary Revenge upon the Divel, for all the Mischief 
he has done unto me, or endeavoured to do. Wherefore I 
resolved, that at Boston-Lectme I would entertain the 
Town and Countrey with some Discourses on, The Wiles 
of the Divel; which Discourses, might, if the Lord please, 
prove more than ordinarily serviceable, to xmdermine the 
Kingdome and Interest of the Divel. 

I expected, that I should feel an unusual Rage of the 
Divel molesting me, while I am doing this Action, and espe- 
cially when I am entring upon it. But I resolved, that 
with a mighty Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I would go 
on courageously, beleeving that I shall shortly have Satan 
bruised imder my Feet, and see the Attempts of the Divel 
against me come to nothing. 

I found Things fall out according to my Expectation. 
And therefore I did, on, 

23 d. 4 m. Wednesday, the Day before my Lecture, apply 
myself to Prayer with Fasting; for to obtain Help against 
my Temptations, and a blessed Issue of the Storms, and 
Fears, and Cares that are now upon me. 

Then, and the Morning following, and all the Time of 
my Prayer before my Lecture, I was very sick, (as well as 
otherwise horribly buffeted:) but in the Time of singing 
the Psalm, I lifted up my Eyes and my Cries, unto my 
Lord Jesus Christ, that He would rate off Satan, and 
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490 DIARY OF COTTON MATHER 

strengthen me for, and carry me thro' His work now before 
me. He did it wonderfully! I preached with mighty 
Assistences, on Eph. 6. ii. The wiles of the Divel. The 
Lord was wonderfully present with me. 

After this, I found the Tempest of Clamour, which the 
Gentlewoman, defeated of her exquisite Contrivances to 
obtain me, had occasioned, by the Help of some evil Women 
against me, strangely going off. One Passage I am willing 
to mention: A Person of principal Quality, (and one who 
was not of principal Piety) among us,